Scripture – “I AM exceeding joyful in all tribulation (I Corinthians 7:4).”
Denial – “I release and let go of all sadness and sorrow.”
Affirmation – “I AM the joy of the Lord.”
Many people confuse joy with happiness. Joy is the spiritual ability to manifest love even during times of sadness, sorrow and grief. Happiness is the natural emotion of being glad as a result of what’s happening in our lives. I desire live in a state of both joy and happiness. When things are not going my way, the joy of the I AM manifests. The joy of the Lord is my strength and empowers me to keep moving forward despite circumstances (Nehemiah 8:10). When things are turning out the way that I expected them to happen, I feel happy (Proverbs 3:13). Both joy and happiness are my birthright as a child of God.
In Psalms 100, David teaches us how to demonstrate joy during the most challenging times. When I feel sad, out of my love for God, I still make a joyful noise. Out of my love for God, I also serve the Lord with gladness even when I have an experience of grief. When my emotions are sorrowful, I still practice the presence of God through singing. I AM only able to do this because I know who I AM. I AM love. I AM joy.
No matter how depressed I feel, I still take care of myself because I love myself. Self-love and self-care in the midst of crisis is pure joy. No matter how low my emotions are I do put myself in danger or do anything that will harm me because I love myself. This is type of joy comes from within and is the manifestation of the I AM. The I AM enables me to be loving towards others and manifest a positive attitude during the darkest of times. I AM love. I AM joy.
Reflection Question – List and describe a time in your life where you experienced pure joy.
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity of Midtown, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.