My word of the year is “joy.” As I get older and live in this estate of sin and misery that is our world, I NEED to focus on joy more, not the passing pleasures of “happiness.” For happiness is just a temporary feeling. But joy is a deep-seated conviction that it is well with my soul – that is, an enduring perspective and sense of peace, contentment and knowledge that everything is going to work out for God’s glory and my good and that can only come from having a relationship with Christ.
Joy is a huge emphasis in the Bible. The word joy is found in the Bible 242 times and the word rejoice appears 154 times! Joy is the noun and rejoice – the act of choosing joy and contentment in Christ – is the verb.
What I also see alongside the concept of joy in the Bible is delight.
In Zephaniah 3:17, we see that God takes great delight in us (his people) and rejoices over us with singing.
Isaiah 62:4 also says, “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, (“my delight is in her”) and your land Beulah (“married”), for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.”
I need to constantly remind myself of these words! God has saved us through Jesus Christ, and not only is He with us, He delights in us! Delights in us? The God of the Universe delights in me? He even gives his people a new name – Hephzibah, which means “my delight is in her.”
Now, I don’t know many people who are naming their little girls Hephzibah, but what a way to remind ourselves of who we are in Christ! God delights in me, so my name is Hephzibah. And if I am Hephzibah, I have joy! Will you take up the name Hephzibah Joy with me?
My encouragement to you is to reflect on the deep love and delight God has for you in Christ so that you will know it is well with your soul. Because he delights in you, you have joy that will never pass away!