Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, Joy!

"The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse."
--Helen Keller

Our Pastor preached a sermon yesterday from John 16. It was about having joy. I have been having a particularly challenging month and I am just not feeling the joy. I'm sitting here this morning, asking myself the question Pastor Tony challenged us with yesterday...If I'm not feeling joy, then what in my life is stifling it?

So here I am, overanalyzing joy. Have I ever felt joy? What is joy anyway? If I'm not feeling happy does that mean I don't have joy?

Merriam-Webster defines JOY as "an emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires". But a woman, Emily Rustad, left a comment on the Merriam-Webster website that made so much more sense to me. She wrote that "joy is different from happiness in that the word "happy" comes from the same root word as "happen": "hap." "Hap" means chance or fate. the feeling of happiness comes from what happens to a person by chance, but joy is a source of delight. it is what lies underneath all emotions, no matter what happens to a person."

So we can have joy in all circumstances because of Jesus. Because of what He did for us. But joy is not about my circumstances. It is not about whether I'm feeling happy today or whether my kids are listening or whether my husband and I got into an argument. Joy is more then just an emotion. My joy is Jesus. It is my hope in Him. It is my belief that He is in control. That even though things might be hard right now, the bigger picture reminds me that He loves me and cares for me and that is my joy.
HEBREWS 12:1-3
A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.

Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith. He also makes it perfect. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He put up with attacks from sinners. So think about him. Then you won't get tired. You won't lose hope.

Let us keep looking to Jesus...
Then you won't get tired...
You won't lose hope.

Linking a post from the archives with Ann today…

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