June 25 2018
We hear often there is a difference between happiness and joy. I totally agree. Scripture actually doesn’t use the word happy often. “Happy is the man that puts his trust in the Lord”. When we look at what brings happiness, we realize that happiness comes and goes. It is built on happenings. Even our trust can waiver at times. Even that happiness can come and go. Joy, on the other hand, is the overwhelming knowledge, emotion (yes emotion), and inner connection with Jesus Himself. Joy doesn’t change or go away. What can happen to joy is that it can be hidden by things piling on top of it and the abiding with and in Jesus can be affected.
I wish I could say that I have never been there…that my joy comes bursting through no matter what the circumstances. How I wish I could say that. I have found sometimes, that I allow circumstances, especially the truly hard, devastating ones, to break the deep, abiding fellowship I have with the Love of my life. When that happens, it affects me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When these times come, there is only one answer. STOP! Stop and don’t continue until the connection is restored.
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine that has had horrific situations (plural) happen in her life. The weight of it all, and not really having anyone to stand with her on it, has caused her to drown, losing her deep connection with Jesus. In my opinion, because it has been one thing after another that has happened, she couldn’t recover from one before another situation hit. We can get all spiritual and say that would not happen to us because we love Jesus, and know the “pat answer” is just pray and everything will be restored. Wrong! Again, it would be great to say that I don’t struggle with maintaining the sense of God’s overwhelming joy.
No matter what, the answer is still the same. Whether it is my friend, you (who are my friends too..lol), or me, finding whatever means necessary to stop, get away, and listen to the still small voice speaking to us, is a must!
So, how are we doing with joy? I can point to devastating things that could, and unfortunately have at times, crushed my spirit so deeply, that I retreat to me instead of the Love that can renew and restore. Sometimes, at least in my case, no one can understand what a particular action of others, or a situation can do to an individual. Most of the time it doesn’t really restore anything by talking to others that have not faced the particular mountain. It sounds super spiritual, but if we want to walk in joy, the only thing that totally keeps us there is the Author of joy Himself. How are we doing with joy?
On the first day of July 2018, we come before the Father, singing “Cornerstone”, “I Am”, “I Am Yours/Take My Life”, and the song we learned on Father’s Day, “Who You Say I Am”. Several years ago, Al Meredith stopped me in the hall and wanted me to go to the piano to play Kari Jobe’s song “You Are Good”. We have been singing that song ever since.
I hope that you will spend time with these songs this week, and be ready for Sunday. Let the Lord speak and sing over you.