Joy: Delightful Strength
Joy: Delightful Strength
Ecclesiastes 3:4 – A right time to cry and another to laugh…
2017 is my year! It is my year to laugh again, to claim that joy back into my spirit.
I have always loved to laugh. My husband would like to tell me how my laugh could blow the roof off the house (I think it was a compliment J). He’s also told me how my laugh warms his heart more than anything.
Over the last few years, life seemed to suck the laughter out of my soul. Even though I had peace and knew Jesus was working in me during that time, I missed my laughing heart. At dinner one night, I recall sharing with a friend “I used to laugh all the time. I miss it.” After muttering that phrase in my heart for a time, it finally dawned on my slow brain—ask Jesus for a refilling of joy and laughter!
Guess what? He did!
Job 8:21 – “He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
There is nothing better than to hear people laughing, watching them laugh, and just enjoying life. The first time you hear a baby laugh, you see someone get super tickled, or you let out a “laughing snort” it is all-contagious. Laughing at dumb movies, witty comments, and funny jokes—honestly, there is nothing like a fun time laughing with others. It truly can cure a myriad of ailments. As beautiful as laughing can be to the heart, laughter can fade away with our emotions. But not joy. Joy is the fruit of a sweet relationship with God.
Joy is one of those feelings or actions that is different for each person. It can show up in an ordinary situation or a time of celebration. It could be expressed in tears that well up unexpectedly, a gentle smile, or a heart that skips a beat. Scripture shows us that sometimes joy is felt, such as when the shepherd experienced joy when he found his lost sheep (Mt 18:13). Or joy can be jubilant, when the disciples returned to Jerusalem rejoicing after Jesus’ ascension (Lk 24:52). Perhaps, it is an “over the moon” feeling that is hard to not share with others.
The unique thing about joy is that it cannot be commanded. Joy wells up in the heart. It truly bubbles up in those circumstances that words cannot express. Joy is a healing balm to the soul. Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is a strength. It can push back heartache and depression. It can conquer sadness and discouragement. Why? Because you cannot produce it yourself. There is only one source of joy—Jesus! He is the bubbly to Joy. Jesus is the secret ingredient to joy.
John 15:11 – “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.”
One of the most beautiful characteristics of joy is the consistency of its author…Jesus. Because He is the author, we can rest in knowing that joy will be with us during the difficult and good times of life. He is always faithful.