During the last twenty months, we have faced a pandemic, a presidential election, social strife, division, and financial stress. On top of that, we’re walking out our personal stuff, which adds to the weight we’re carrying. Needless to say, these past several months have been a challenge.
So, how are you doing?
If I’m paying attention to myself, I’m up and down. I feel the joy of the victories and then I feel down with the setbacks. This is both leading a church and then walking out my kids school, the varying opinions of what’s going on, and furthermore, carrying the responsibility of leadership.
However, the one consistent challenge I’ve felt from God during this is, be JoyFULL!
At times, this is frustrating and annoying because I’d like God to join me in my pity party. But He doesn’t. He instead gives the challenge for me to rise up to higher perspective, and that comes through joy!
Joy is NOT based on circumstance, it’s based on a person, Jesus.
This is why in Christ we can have joy when we’re sad and when we’re happy. We can have joy when things workout and when things don’t. We can have joy through the struggle and then through the victory. We have this joy because Jesus is with us through it all.
Over and over again, I’ve felt Jesus challenge me to have more joy. To stir my memory and moreover, be in the moment and be grateful, thankful and JoyFULL!
I haven’t arrived or perfected this but I am choosing His joy over my perspective. I’m choosing His joy over my expectations and I’m choosing His joy through His timing in my life.
Here are some verses that speak to me.
“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)
“There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!”Psalms 43:4 (NLT)
“But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”John 17:13 (NKJV)
Notice that God is our source of joy, it’s our strength and we can have joy fulfilled in our lives.
When you think about it, JOY is huge in our faith and it does more than we see.
It’s vital that we choose to be JoyFULL daily because this leads to being thankFULL, prayerFULL, peaceFULL and hopeFULL! This is where we can be in Jesus and this is how we can overcome life.
When I do this, my attitude is better. My thoughts are better. My hope expands and my love overflows. It’s in these moments that I remember that old song, “He’s done so much for me, I cannot tell it all.”
So in this Thanksgiving season, I encourage you to be JoyFULL. Stir yourself by remembering all that He’s done. Fill your mind with how far He’s brought you and how He’s answered so many prayers. Let your heart smile by being JoyFULL!
Believe in you and the best is yet to come,