Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy...

down in my heart, down in my heart to stay!!  Do you remember that song from Children's Church?  It kinda went on and on as you could just keep adding verses.  As an adult, I look at those words and wonder do I really have the joy in my heart?  Way down stay?  The real kind of joy.  The kind that you had when you were that child singing the lyrics to a song?
What a question!  How do I know if I have true joy or the fake pasted on kind?  That started me on the hunt for the definition of JOY:
 the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : Delight

Don't you love that?  What is it that your heart desires?  Is it Him or something else?  To possess true joy our only desire has to be for Him.  Our delight should be for Him alone.  Not our spouse, children, worldly possessions or success.  The joy that only He can bring is indescribable, boundless, unending...I want that in my life, don't you?
    Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

So how do I get it this delight?  Is it just an emotion or is it a choice?  It can be both.  I can feel joy when I am happy and things are going my way, but what about when my world goes crazy and things are upside down?  Am I still joyful?  Do I still delight in Him?  My honest answer would be emotions wouldn't be 'happy, happy, joy, joy".  But I could make the choice to be joyful in him regardless of my circumstances.  That is where pure joy comes in.  No matter what happens around me I choose to remain joyful in Him.
As the beloved apostle Paul wrote in James 1:2-3:
 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Surely after all that he had gone through for the gospel and he still counted it as joy-we can to!  Make the choice today to be joyful no matter what your circumstances.  It is hard to do, but Jesus never promised us an easy road, did He?



Lisa said...

Beautiful post! We can have joy no matter what because our God remains the same. Amen!

Phather Phil Malmstrom said...

Allison, your post and specifically the quote from James really resonates with me today. I want that deep, true joy in my life as well.

May we all keep our hearts focused on Him, and gain that overwhelming joy!

Have a Blessed Day!

Debbie Dillon said...

Oh my goodness....I was just hopping over here to thank you for your comment on my blog, and these words pierced right through something I'm going through right now: " Our delight should be for Him alone. Not our spouse, children, worldly possessions or success."
I can't thank you enough for speaking to my heart today. It may seem a simple truth, but today it means everything.
Thank you, my friend :)

Sheryl said...

When I was first writing my post for today, I entitled it the same as your post! I eventually changed it, but opening up your page gave me a zap of joy.

I love your acknowledgement that joy is both an emotion and a choice. I know I need to actively choose it more often.

Heidi said...

Choosing to be joyful despite how I feel is a challenge, but when I focus on God I experience the joy that He intended for me! Great post Allison!

Bonnie Gray said...

Hi Allison, I love how you challenged us to look at joy from Ps. 37 point of view & the dictionary defintion. Do I feel well-being because my heart is protected with God? You served up wonderful joy thoughts for us this week. Thanks for all the hard work.

Eileen said...

Great post! A few weeks ago at church, the message was on joy. One comment stuck with me. "The joy of the lord is our strength. If we don't have joy we are living in weakness."
We need to daily choose to tap into His joy!