It’s time to lighten up, to smile. It’s time to remember that God is sovereignly fulfilling His promises to exalt the meek, bless the faithful, and to tear down the oppressive, making a way for His own. He is delivering always. Remember the first things, the early days of your christian walk. Recall how far you’ve come, how far He has brought you. Here’s a flashback to where everyone of us started. Like babes in our knowledge of Him, we had delight which flavored our little ideas, our small wonders and our hope for a greater, deeper understanding of the Creator who has quickened us and promised life.
Children bring joy. They certainly do. I love these light hearted moments. There does come a time however, when we find that if we expect to find joy in this life, we’ll have to mature beyond the merely receiving it, moving from source to source to find sustenance. Joy is the fruit of a work we do in Christ. It is a work we must apply ourselves to or we’ll suck everyone around us dry. Cultivating joyfulness and offering it selflessly tests us but offers rich rewards affording the emotional maturity we need to help others walk with emotional maturity and consistency. If we are dependent on others for happiness and when there’s a deficit, we suffer. When this happens we undermine our own work and very often blame others for not meeting our needs. It’s time to be selfless and to recognize that there is a calling to be fulfilled in persevering through trials. Choose joy and give it to others to share in.
Here’s a great quote from Lydia Brownback from her Devotional on Joy.
Sometimes joy is hard won. We have to fight for it. But when the battle is especially strong, we get tempted to give up the fight and settle for so much less. If only we would keep the end –joy– in view! Living as we do in a culture marked by impatience and quick gratification, we have come to see perseverance as a virtue obtainable by only a select few, so it is no wonder we give us. Rather than wrestle with God through difficult and downcast seasons, we take a pill. Rather than acknowledge the sin that underlies so much of our relational dysfunction, we blame the upbringing we had. Is it any wonder that we don’t know lasting joy?
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5
He is the source of our joy and by Him we life here and in eternity. Matthew Henry says of Proverbs 17:22
Note, 1. It is healthful to be cheerful. The Lord is for the body, and has provided for it, not only meat, but medicine, and has here told us that the best medicine is a merry heart, not a heart addicted to vain, carnal, sensual mirth; Solomon himself said of that mirth, It is not medicine, but madness; it is not food, but poison; what doth it? But he means a heart rejoicing in God, and serving him with gladness, and then taking the comfort of outward enjoyments and particularly that of pleasant conversation. It is a great mercy that God gives us leave to be cheerful and cause to be cheerful, especially if by his grace he gives us hearts to be cheerful. This does good to a medicine (so some read it); it will make physic more efficient. Or it does good as a medicine to the body, making it easy and fit for business. But, if mirth be a medicine (understand it of diversion and recreation), it must be used sparingly, only when there is occasion, not turned into food, and it must be used medicinally, sub regimine – as a prescribed regimen, and by rule. 2. The sorrows of the mind often contribute very much to the sickliness of the body: A broken spirit, sunk by the burden of afflictions, and especially a conscience wounded with the sense of guilt and fear of wrath, dries the bones, wastes the radical moisture, exhausts the very marrow, and makes the body a mere skeleton. We should therefore watch and pray against all melancholy dispositions, for they lead us into trouble as well as into temptation.
Christ came to heal His people any wonder why joy is such an important part of the work we’re called to do here?
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