Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Joy, Joy, Joy

Do you remember as a child singing the song, "I've got the Joy in my Heart? It goes like this:
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart - Where?
Down in my heart! Where?
Down in my heart!
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart- Where?
Down in my heart to stay

And I'm so happy
So very happy
I've got the love of Jesus in my heart
Down in my heart
And I'm so happy
So very happy
I've got the love of Jesus in my heart.

How can you sing a song like this and not get a smile on your face. For me it brings back some great memories of my childhood. I loved to sing my Sunday School songs wherever I went. In the bathtub, playing in my room, on the playground, it didn't matter. I loved to sing about Jesus.

The word joy is found in approximately 242 verses in the Bible. And yet look around. How many people do you really see who are living life joyfully? 1 Thessalonians 5:16 states it very plainly when it says, "Be joyful always". That's the whole verse - short, sweet and to the point. It's followed by another 2 word verse, "pray continually" which is undoubtedly the key to being able to live joyfully always.

I found an old devotion that my friend Daniella did some time ago. Here are a few of the things she shared. There are three types of people in our world, our community and yes, even in our churches. There are those who are:
  • Joy Impaired – These people don’t realize that true joy can be theirs. They go through life focused on just getting by, just getting through the day with the least amount of trauma and drama possible. The Joy Impaired have no clue what they are missing.
  • Joy Extinguishers – These people are just flat unhappy and set out to make sure everyone around them is just as unhappy as they are. They are on a seek-and-destroy mission and will set out to find you and crush your joy.
  • Joy Carriers – These people have the ability to breathe life into you just by their very presence. Seeing them coming your direction brings a smile to your face and it lifts your spirits.
    Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

How can you experience great joy in the midst of a trial (thank you for asking)? Here are three things that will help you experience true joy when the tough times come:

  1. You must make a conscience decision to focus on God’s goodness. When times get tough, count your blessings. Write down 10 things you are thankful for. If the joy has not returned, write down 10 more. Take your focus off of the trial and place it on Him. Before long, a spring of joy will start bubbling up in your soul. He has promised to never leave us, but to lead us through the tough times. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  2. Reach out to bless others every chance you get. Be a Joy Carrier. Peter told a lame man, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:6). The man left walking and leaping and praising God. Peter was ready to be a blessing to others. How about you?
  3. Understand that joy produces strength, which is why it’s Satan’s number 1 target. Nehemiah 8:10b says “for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” If Satan can keep you focused on your trials, focused on your issues, focused on your circumstances - he can beat you down. It's like attaching weights around your neck and carrying them with you throughout your day. But taking you eyes off of the circumstances and placing them on the God who is "over your circumstances" will bring you joy and strengthen your faith.

So which one are you? Are you Joy Impaired? Are you a Joy Extinguisher? Are you the Joy Carrier who breathes life into a room? We all need to make the conscience decision to carry the Joy of the Lord with us wherever we go today. In doing so we will find strength, endurance, maturity and lack absolutely nothing.


Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I want to be a Joy Carrier! Thanks for this word, Lisa. It is such a timely reminder in this crazy world we live in!

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy.....

In Him,

YaYa's Funhouse said...

what a great message. Lisa, you would probably like to read my SIL blog
Let me know if you can't get it....or you could go to my blog and click her on my blog list.

LisaShaw said...

Sweet Lisa (so nice sharing a name with you),

First, thank you so much for the words/prayer of healing you left on my blog. I suspect I will be back to health fully SOON in Jesus Name. Secondly, this post fills me with joy! I pray that I'm a joy carrier and if ever I'm not may the Holy Spirit tap or slap me (whichever is necessary to get my immediate attention) back into the reality of living, breathing and bringing joy to others in Christ name.

Love you my friend.

Crown of Beauty said...

THanks for this insightful post. I want and choose to be a joy giver. You are so right that it is Satan's prime target because he wants us to be weak and unable to contend for our God given destiny.

Beautiful Grace said...

Another great reminder that my strength lies in God's joy!