A friend came into my office years ago and pushed back the curtains. “Bro, you gotta let the sun shine in,” he emphatically declared. I was struggling with depression and he knew that even something as ordinary as sunlight could help to change that.
Are you inviting the Light to shine in your life? Are you entering joyfully into worship, keeping your heart and mind in a place where the Spirit can touch you? Are you exercising faith, letting go of disappointment and leaning on the Lord?
It is important to remember the delight of ordinary things. Joy is not just discovered in a vacation to some far away place. A walk in the park can boost our spirits. Satisfaction of hunger does not demand a gourmet meal. A simple meal shared with friends can delight us.
- A few years ago a young Mommy from the church I serve sent me a note about her kids, then aged 4 and 6, who were present at a recent baptism. “When G. and J. emerged from their bath, they were talking back and forth and your name was mentioned, so I asked them what they are talking about. ‘We were playing ‘Pastor Jerry dunkin’ ya in the church tub! He’s crazy!’” Her note still makes my heart glad! The ordinary things are where the Son shines brightly!
- Last week, I was privileged to sit at a table with four other pastors. We talked about life, joked with each other, and then got to the serious business of prayer. As we concluded, one mused, “Isn’t God’s Presence wonderful?” And, it is! There was joy in those moments as we opened our hearts together. Yes, the Son shone brightly on us in that meeting though it was of little importance in the big, wide world.
You have a decision to make this Monday morning. You can be glum or you can be glad! I’m not talking about denial, nor I am talking about escape. Joy is a gift of God to those who will receive it. The Bible says it is our choice! “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3, NIV)
Here is a bit of reality counsel – there is a God, and you are not Him! Nothing destroys joy more completely than trying to assume control of everything in life. If I attempt to usurp the throne of God, my life becomes heavy with the weight of pressure, people, and problems! Consciously remember today and every day that God rules. He has a plan and while we do have the freedom to choose, He knows, cares, and purposes to keep us alive in Him.
Remind yourself often that nothing that is happening to you right now is a surprise to Him. When faith grows, joy grows. God urges us, through the prophet Isaiah, to make the choice to trust, fixed on His absolute rule. “Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:8-10, NIV)
Here’s a word from the Word. Let it draw a smile to your face as it rebirths joy in your heart. “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, … And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:3-6, NLT)
Let the Son Shine IN!
(celebrate with the song)
It’s time I started dancing
over all these graves!
It’s time I gave You, Oh my Lord,
the highest praise!
It’s time to lift my voice,
Oh and beg for this blessing to fall!
I want the joy of the Lord to come down!
I want the joy of the Lord to fall now!
I want the joy of the Lord in my life.
I want the joy of the Lord to lift me,
I want the joy of the Lord to change me,
I want the joy of the Lord in my life!
I Want The Joy © 2002 River Oaks Music Company (a div. of EMI Christian Music Publishing) Rita Springer
CCLI License No. 810055