Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your day has been joyfilled so far!
Speaking of joy, I had to laugh at one of yesterday’s post. Oh Dear stated how wonderful it must have been to meet Beth Moore. It was. Oh Dear also shared that she has grown spiritually from her studies. That’s not all that grew! Oh Dear added that every other study she has taken of Beth’s, she has gotten pregnant!
Another friend of mine, Amy. also posted yesterday. She encouraged us to not only pray for strength but for joy, too. I’m so glad she did. I think joy is a subject that is often misunderstood. One thing is for sure. Many in our world today have misplaced joy. To most joy is the fruit of landing a successful position, achieving a certain body weight, or accomplishing a task that gives value to their lives. Unfortunately, position, money, education, and martial goods don’t provide lasting joy. When a dream goes unfulfilled, or your co-worker gets the promotion, hopelessness and despair take center stage. That’s when God uses suffering as a compass that enables us to relocate our misplaced joy.
Oswald Chambers describes true joy this way. “Joy means the prefect fulfillment of that for which I was crated and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing.” We were created to glorify God in all they do and say. Beyond that there is no greater joy. We see this in Christ’s example. His joy was made complete when He was doing the will of His Father. Not only that. He was a success too.
Everybody wants to be successful. We equate success with happiness. The problem is with our definition of success and the way we go about obtaining it. Most have this approach to happy success: Here’s what I want to do. God’s way of succeeding is much different: Here’s the person I’ve created you to be and here’s how I want you to become that person.
Success from God’s point of view doesn’t begin and end with what we do. It’s about becoming who God designed us to be and by accomplishing the goals He has set before us. Therefore, joy is a deep-rooted assurance that God has a purpose for our lives. Hope in the world is useless, but “those who hope in [God] will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23). When we allow God to control our lives, priorities fall into place, life is simplified, and soon it is characterized by joy. John describes it this way. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (15:11). Allowing God complete control of our lives means we may need to readjust our priorities and set new goals. This was true for my friend Dave. When we can’t adjust to God’s will on our own, sometimes He steps in.
When Dave lost his job, he was overwhelmed with hopelessness. How will I provide for my family was the cry of his heart. Dave began taking odd jobs and working as a handyman. At first, he felt embarrassed leaving the house in his overall’s instead of his suit. Soon Dave discovered that he enjoyed this type of work. His priorities changed too. Dave found time to witness to people he would have otherwise never come in contact with. Before he knew it, Dave had more work than he ever dreamed possible. To top it off, he was experiencing a great sense of satisfaction and purpose. Today Dave not only restores houses. He restores lives for the kingdom.
Turbulent times often expose what matters most. By reordering our priorities, cultivating our relationships, and setting new goals we discover true joy.