Oh Joy

Squeals of joy filled our house Christmas morning as the girls opened their gifts. It’s such a wonderful sound, those joyful squeals and giggles. It made me think about how much I want for them, that they would be filled with that kind of  joy always.

Parenting is a rough business, we set rules and our kids disobey them – leading to consequences and there is not  much joy being felt in those moments.  Our rules and boundaries are set with intention to raise them right hoping they gain the wisdom to make right choices as they grow up.

As a kid I often hated my parent’s rules, even though it turns out they were usually right. Now, to my kids, it feels like I take all joy and fun away too, but because of my experience, I know best and trying to protect them from pain. We know that joy will come if they choose to follow our lead – our joy, too, comes when we follow the lead we are given from Jesus.

The bible tells us that we can have fullness of joy if we meditate on God’s word and follow his commands. True joy isn’t found in Christmas gifts, a promotion, more money… yet we all seem to be on the hunt for the next best thing, thinking we’ll finally find happiness in that thing. Our hunt is actually making us lose our joy because we are hunting for humanly ‘joy’ and  completely losing site of where we will find real fulfillment.

By spending time with God in prayer and bible reading, we will enter into God’s presence.  1 Chronicles says that “strength and joy fill His dwelling”. Our happiness and joy isn’t in the human desires – it’s found only in God and being in His presence, following his commands and trusting Him completely.

She Laughs without Fear of the Future

Laughing is the best! My favorite are the contagious laughs when you can’t help but smile or laugh along with them as you feel their joy.  Laughter is powerful it has strong health benefits, it leads to overall wellbeing, and it can temporarily relieve moments of hardship. Choosing to laugh or be joyful in difficult times is never easy though.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane of life and the temporary hardships.  By getting caught up in that, our joy becomes weak and fleeting. Our joy and ability to laugh in all circumstances comes from trust in God’s work in our lives.  It’s obvious He is there, if we only look for Him.  Even in the hardest of times you can find His work.  God wants every day to be like Christmas morning – squeals of joy because of the hope and promise He gives.

Let’s consider the Proverbs 31 Women who laughs without fear of the future. She knows that in all circumstances she can laugh, find joy in the moment because she knows God is with her and will take her through whatever she might be facing.  NO FEAR of the future.  2 Corinthians 6:10 states that we may have nothing, no food, not clothes, no job… but with God we have everything.  The proverbs 31 women knows that, trusts that and lives that.  We too will find the ability to laugh in our trials because we can trust completely in God’s work within us.

James 1:2-4 shares that even in trials we are to be joyful because it strengthens us and our faith.

Romans 15:13 – May God fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him

Psalm 4:7 states that God’s joy is better than wine or abundant earthly things

Radiate Your Joy

Through our troubles we have the ability to radiate joy to others. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10  Talks about the light that is shining in our hearts as we trust in God through the good and the bad, that through our knowledge of Him we can continue to share the love of Jesus to others.

We are like broken clay pots and as we fill ourselves with the light of God’s joyful presence – that light shines through and illuminates other. Our challenges have given us the ability to relate to other broken hearts of our brothers and give them hope.  We need to radiate our joy and knowledge to others so that they can find hope in Jesus, so they too can overcome troubled times and laugh without fear of the future.  Our Heavenly Father is at work, perfecting all things and we are to encourage one another in that hope! 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

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