Thursday, October 7, 2010
Thankful Thursday - Joy
Today's Thankful Thursday crowd is meeting over at Lynn's Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Why not join in?
Lynn has chosen the topic of joy. She shared how the changing of the seasons brought her joy. I agree, I love the change of seasons as well. There are great points about each season, things that I look forward to whenever I flip the calendar pages to a new month. I'm so glad that God does give us change. I think we humans crave newness from time to time. We get easily bored!
I've always liked the word joy. I named my first daughter, Elissa Joy, because I loved the name "Joy," and we were filled with joy when after years of infertility, God blessed us with a daughter.
Joy is a much different word than happiness. Happiness is dependent on my circumstances, joy is dependent on my beliefs. We Americans are bound and determined to search for what makes us happy. We consider it a right, the pursuit of happiness is a freedom for which we will fight to the death.
Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Only by abiding in Christ, leaning on Him, trusting in Him, believing His promises can we be truly joyful in even the worst of circumstances. As spiritual pilgrims, we know that the circumstances of life are only temporary and nothing can compare with our destination - Heaven!
I'm thankful that God wants us to have joy. One of my favorite scriptures is John 10:10, Amplified Version
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."
Enjoying life - to me, that brings joy! God intends us to have joy both here and in eternity. The times that life is less than joyful are the times we can trust God to bring us through and on to the joy. If we really believe His word, we can trust Him that everything will turn out alright. I'm not saying we won't go through hard times - we will! But even in the hard times, we trust that He knows what He is doing and at some point, it will be okay. That is what brings us joy! What does the child of satan have to look forward to in his day of trial? The trial he is going through is all he's ever going to have, unless he repents and accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
I must end this random discourse on the topic of joy with a little poem I learned in Sunday School as a child:
What a wonderful way to spell joy!
It' so true, if you focus first on Jesus, then on others, and lastly, yourself, you will live a joyful life.