I love the word JOY. It makes me think of the best things in life. When I reflect on joy I have a sense of peace and lightness of soul. Joy is a place I like to be; it is a state of being that is filled with hope, contentment and significance.
True joy is transcendent and powerful. Joy can even show up where happiness is hard to come by. It is the backdrop of a life that is unique and stands out in a crowd. Joy is the person that just seems to lighten your load whether they open their mouth, give you a hug or just enter into your world in a million different ways. There are people that just exude joy whether they are trying to or not. Don’t you love being around those people? Could you be one of those people?
We are told that true joy is a work of God’s spirit in us. The Greek word that we translate joy is “Chara”. One of the theologians I was reading said a better translation would be “rejoicefullness”; if that we a word. It is a filling up that overflows into all of life – no matter the circumstances, the contexts or apparent happiness of the moment.
This type of life is available to all of us as we live our lives connected to God’s Word and His Spirit. Joy is a natural position or our hearts and minds as we trust God to be Lord and Provider. God is not only enough – He is the only thing that will ever truly meet our soul’s desire.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The prophet Habakkuk reveals the amazing breadth and depth of God’s transformative power of joy. As we read the following passage it is a good time to consider the issue of what matters most to us. Where are we going with our lives and what are we counting on that is worth pouring our lives into? Do you know this JOY?
17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Connected in Joy,
I am writing this on Valentine’s day! The Love holiday – right? Love is all about cupid, roses, cards, candy and kisses. Love must be the queasiness and stomach flip-flops she has when that certain guy walks by or the way he gets nervous with sweaty palms when she looks his way.
NOPE! That might be puppy love, or the flu or something in-between the two. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that love is in the room.
Love is a pleasant enough word in our language. Love can be used to describe our favorite food or our pets. Love can be used to describe how I feel about backpacking or a week in Florida. We can use the word love when we hear a certain type of music or to describe a poem that makes us smile. None of that is bad and love is an agreeable, enjoyable enough concept but I have a different perspective on love I want to deliver.
Love is ferocious.
Love is powerful.
Love is relentless.
Love pursues and pursues and pursues.
Love sticks to it.
Love rises up in the face of oppression.
Love conquers doubt.
Love overcomes failures.
Love gives and gives.
Love looks and…
Love sees others and it acts.
Love promises and then keeps them.
Love laughs with the joyful.
Love weeps with the hurting.
Love joins with the lonely.
Love walks with the struggling.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4.8 “God is love.” Since that is the case we must turn to God’s attributes and actions to truly understand what love is at its essence. The God of Scripture is all about bringing us back. The primary message of God’s Word is that He is relentless is His pursuit of redeeming us – buying us back to freedom. He will do whatever it takes to release us from our oppression of sin and death. God’s love sees us in our mess, our doubts and fears. Instead of casting us off – He enters in!
Try this on: Love is this – God dying on a cross with you on His mind. WOW!
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4
Pastor Nick Mundis