If there's anything I have learned from this season of grieving the loss of our baby, it's that the Lord wants to trade our despair for JOY. There is an imprint on my heart that Avery has left with the life, no matter how short. That baby is part of our fabric now. Before Avery and After Avery. Through every raw emotion I've felt through this loss, I've been carried by the sense and assurance that the Lord never left us.
Through the deepest heartache I've ever experienced, the Holy Spirit helped me see beauty in ashes. Joy doesn't always look like giggles and smiles. Joy is not necessarily synonymous with happiness. There are days when I don't necessarily feel happy. There have been some incredibly dark days when I didn't feel that joy like I used to. There have been moments when things that used to bring me that pee-your-pants-excitement type of joy response, simply brings tears of loss and hurt to my heart. I've changed so much this year, but the fruit of the holy spirit is joy, and I've seen firsthand how the Lord has since restored my joy!
Check out John Piper's Desiring God article- How Do You Define Joy?
As I sat down to write this post, and research bible verses specifically talking about joy, I discovered that in my bible, most of these verses were already highlighted/underlined/starred. As it turns out, verses about joy are some of my favorite verses! My heart longs to understand and know and experience this joy that only the Lord can give. The kind of joy Paul describes in Philippians (check it out here). You can read my heart on Paul's joy and how to have Joy In The Tough Times.
Friend, I crave for you to know this same joy.
So let's cheers and clink our iced coffee glasses together to the joy set before us.
Here's are some JOY-filled verses that have inspired the name of this "Due to Joy" blog.
Nehemiah 8:10b (ESV)
“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 30:5 (ESV)
“For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.”
Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
"Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 51:12 (ESV)
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 63:7-8 (ESV)
“For you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
Psalm 71:23 (ESV)
“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”
Psalm 84:2 (ESV)
“My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”
Psalm 92:4 (ESV)
“For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”
Psalm 94:19 (NIV)
“When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.”
Psalm 100:1-2 (ESV)
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!”
Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
“This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 119:111 (ESV)
“Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.”
Psalm 126:5 (ESV)
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!"
Isaiah 9:3 (ESV)
“You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.”
Isaiah 55:12 (ESV)
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Luke 15:7 (ESV)
“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
John 16:22 (ESV)
“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
John 16:24 (ESV)
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Romans 12:12 (ESV)
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:15 (ESV)
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Romans 15:13 (ESV)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Hebrews 12:2 (ESV)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”
Philippians 4:4 (ESV)
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
James 1:2-3 (ESV)
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
1 Peter 1:8-9 (ESV)
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 4:13 (NLT)
"Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."