I can say this because I have not talked with many of you since last year: Happy New Year! Yes, Happy 2023! We are blessed to see a new year! Amen, somebody! Join me in telling the Lord, “Thank you!” God has been Merciful, Faithful and Gracious toward each one of us. I can say that with confidence because we – you and I – are still here! We have the ability to read this, to read it on some electronic device and most likely, to read it with a roof over our head. Glory to God!
It’s the season for New Year’s resolutions but a lot people pick a word or phrase to focus on throughout the year and set goals, rather than make resolutions. Do you have a word for the year and if so, what is it? I’ve heard intentional, love and consistency, for example.
My word for 2023 is Joy! You may hear it in my voice! I’ve got the joy of the Lord, down in my heart and I want the world to know this same joy – in fact, to know the Great Joy that the angels proclaimed to the shepherds in Luke 2: 9-11!
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (verses 10 and 11)
Friends, knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior is having JOY. Yes, it’s having GREAT JOY! Since God promised it, let’s embrace it and walk in it daily! I overhead a coworker say once, “I won’t let the devil take my joy.” I didn’t know exactly what was going on but I said to him, “Now that’s the right attitude to have” and I thanked him.
We may not be happy all the time but joy is within us. To borrow a few words from Bro. Kirk Franklin: Happiness is when you have something hap-pen-ing. Some time ago, he wrote a song about having the joy of the Lord: “Joy, Joy. God’s great joy. Joy, Joy. Down in my soul. Sweet, beautiful, soul saving joy. Ohh joy, joy in my soul…” Amen!
If you entered this new year with sadness over situations from last year, yet you know God personally, pray for renewal of joy. That’s what Bro. David in the Bible did. He prayed: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
I am in agreement with your prayer and speak JOY into your spirit. I pray that you are strengthened in your inner man, day by day. (Please share your testimony, when you are restored! I claim it, in Jesus name!)
Again, know that joy is within you when you truly know God. Scripture says God’s Spirit lives in us and joy is a part of the fruit of the Spirit! (Galatians 5:22) People will see the fruit in your life! It’s all because of Jesus!
I declare that we are joyFUL people of God and we will not give our joy away to our adversary, the devil.
For “this joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me…The world didn’t give it; the world can’t take it away.” -Pastor Shirley Caesar