Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Joy: It’s Not What You Think

on March 21, 2014

It’s Five Minute Friday again, so I’m joining up with the lovely ladies over at Lisa Jo Baker’s place for a stress-free, five-minute, free-write on a one-word prompt.  Join us if you like!

Joy.

We hear people say it, “choose joy” as if it is a thing readily available for the taking.  Just reach out and grasp it and it’s yours to keep.

And some think they’ve found it in a nice house or pretty clothes or a fulfilling relationship, while others are just plain hungry for it. We think we find joy in children’s laughter, walks on the beach, sunny days, a good book. We claim joy in date nights, a healthy bank account, a successful career or ministry, good health, full stomachs, any and all of those blessings we’ve counted up.

We look for joy always in all of the created things; we crave it.

But all of these things, even these people, they are are fleeting, sisters: here today, gone tomorrow.  Any joy based on these moments, based on temporary possessions or circumstances, is destined to pass.

When that happens, we feel cheated somehow, don’t we?  We feel let down.  We may even wonder if something is wrong with us or question why the joy is gone.  Have you been there before? When the sunshine suddenly turns to rain, when laughter turns to pain?

I have.  I’ve walked through seasons where joy seemed scarce and even counting my blessings, though they are many, wasn’t enough to satisfy my soul.  I’ve found myself hungry for lasting joy, a joy not of this world.

joy, pain, suffering, sorrow

True joy, lasting joy, comes from one source and one source only – the Father God who created us purely for love’s sake.  His only Son took upon Himself the burden of the cross “for the joy set before him” so that we might have joy unspeakable.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

 Are you looking for real joy today, sister, the kind of joy that lasts through the hard times and back again, the kind that wells up from within, unstoppable?

Find it in Jesus.

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.
Psalm 92:4
O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1

Jen 🙂

You may also find me linking up with any of these lovely places.


13 responses to “Joy: It’s Not What You Think

  1. Sarah says:

    Amen! Such a perfect reminder of the true joy in Christ.

  2. Misty says:

    Hi, Jen! This is a wonderful reminder of where we need to find our joy.

  3. You’re so right that our only true and lasting joy is found in the Lord. Everything else is open to change, but he is our firm foundation that will always be there for us!

  4. Jenna says:

    I love this! And the image is so good. I want that kind of joy, deep within my soul! Thank you so much for the reminder to see that above it all 🙂 Glad to have come here from #TellHisStory. ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

  5. Jen, these are really good thoughts on Joy. It makes me think of a song we sung when I was a child.

  6. Yes, yes…true joy only comes from Jesus. It is lasting stuff, the make-it-through-the worst-day-ever stuff. Great potluck post at The Loft today, Jen.

  7. I loved the post you referenced in this post…”like a proud big brother”. What a great way to look at that. I need to be reminded of this all the time.

  8. I was just reading Weight of Glory by CS Lewis, and it is written well that we land short if we seek our joy in anything less. Something that we need constantly to remind ourselves of.

    “We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God
    knows, even that is bounty enough. We
    want something else which can hardly be
    put into words—to be united with the
    beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it
    into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become
    part of it. . . .—that,
    though we cannot, yet these projections
    can, enjoy in themselves that beauty grace,
    and power of which Nature is the image.” ~CS Lewis

    I don’t want only part. I want Him all! 🙂
    Great post Jen

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