Tuesday, August 4, 2009

joy... (II of II)

When I was little and I would hear older folks say, As Christians we don't need happiness because we have joy! They said it in such a manner that I envisioned glitter and sparkly beads to spring from their finger tips and mouth. Uh, call me carnal but I would really like to be happy at some time in my life. Their point wasn't to proffer of a Prozac-induced high, but an understanding that joy is not happiness. It's almost like joy and happiness are twins; similar, yet very different.

Happiness is temporal, joy is lasting despite trials. Happiness is an emotion, joy is a state of mind, heart, and soul. The reason Christ encouraged us to live in joy is because righteous living is not easy. Jesus warned us that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33) and Paul foretold all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Here's the best news:

  • Joy is not dependant on our circumstances. We have joy because of the gift of salvation, because of His goodness, because of God's unconditional love.
  • Joy is not based on efforts. No amount of willpower can produce joy because it comes from our relationship with Jesus.
  • Joy is not merely an emotion. Joy is looking deeper into our situations and realizing that Jesus is in CONTROL of everything! We need a supernatural outpouring of joy, a filling of His joy, an overflowing of His joy.
No matter your situations in life, God can provide joy in your situation. But do you know this to be true? If you need some reminders, let me pass along some promises to you that will put joy in your heart: God will never leave us nor forsake us; if we seek him and we will find him; if we cry out to him and he will answer; if he clothes the lily and feeds the sparrow, He will clothe us and feed us; He's got our back... our front... and walks by our side. Really, the list goes on. Focus on what do have and a supernatural gratefulness will overwhelm us. Hebrews 13:5, Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Okay really, why do I feel like glitter and sparkly beads are coming from my mouth? Just know that it's not Prozac but Jesus :)


Anonymous said...

Joy, what a joy reading your blog. thanks and God Bless you!!

Diandra Ann said...

Haha... awesome ending line. I love it. My kids sometimes say things about instead of doing drugs... do Jesus... it always makes me laugh.

jacquelinefigueroa said...

Thank You! I needed all that glitter and sparkly beads because I was looking pretty tore up!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Joy is what I need right now. It's like I go back and forth from being happy to not happy. I the midst of it all, I think I really just need joy.

When I'm happy or not, at least I have the joy of Christ to sustain me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding us, the forgetfulsometimesjoylessChristians, to imply remind ourselves of such supernatural, God-given, Divine-produced emotion...love you!

christy said...

i am totally gonna stick the last verse evrytwhere in my house...car...work...when living in financial struggles and feeling like prayers aren't being answered, this verse says it all...thanks!

juniorj said...

Thanks for the post. I was writing a review on a John Piper series and he mentioned that the people throughout church history had "invincible perseverance because there was invincible joy." Good stuff.

Brianna said...

glittery and sparkly headbands??? someone needs to put in a call to finchy stat!! :) love you.

Anonymous said...

So very true! It's the most beautiful thing... As I sit in church, I see quite a few people raising their hands during worship. I used to think that they were trying to appear holy. Because I know what some of them are facing, I know its because they are surrendering to Jesus and they have JOY in the midst of what they are going through. And so many people are going through so much but I couldn't tell because of the JOY that they have!!! Thank you Bi!! :)


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