I woke up this morning thinking about ...
I then thought of our recent trip to Sierra Leone. Even though I have never seen such poverty physically, it seemed that joy was just waiting around every corner of our trip! I was stunned. People of all ages would gather, pull out instruments, and song, smiles and dance would erupt as people took great pleasure praising Jesus!
My mind then flew over the past years and I started to wonder if I am still a person of joy. Have I become a bit complacent in my everyday @ home zone? Do I live joy? Am I fun to be around? Do I make others smile? How often do I come to Jesus in my day and just worship Him with the passion inside of me? Oh, such good questions to ponder! These are healthy ones.
I know that I find joy when I am with God, when I allow everything else in my world to be still and I turn the eyes of my heart and mind toward Him... and worship. Oh, such love and joy in those moments.
Joy is found in something other than myself. Joy is in community and in knowing the pleasure shared in relationship. Bruce and I have moments of great joy and, in essence, have a joy-full life together. Joy is a heart full of love spilling out its immense warmth and pleasure toward someone else.
In fact, it occurred to me that this is all about others! For example, look at all the fruit of the Spirit an you'll see that community is required. What good is kindness without someone to be kind toward or patience if you never have to wait for anything from someone else? Think of it, gentleness, faithfulness, love, all rely on someone or something other than ourselves. What a gift from the Father, that He would give us resources and fruit from and for community!
That is why we need, I need, to come and be with God in the secret place for it is there that joy is fully experienced. The bonus is that we can come and never worry about offending God with our volume, style, repetitiveness, skill level, or lyrical ingenuity. We will find Him entertained by our heart. His joy will be known.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5