He gives a command,
shows us how,
then empowers us to do it.
Rejoicing always is doable and possible. Yes, even for you.
But, our “always” can be riddled with crazy (see last post). I have discovered two reasons why I’m not always full of joy in the midst of whatever the crazy brings:
- I’m focused on a faulty expectation of joy.
- I’m trying to find joy in shallow, fleeting sources.
A FAULTY EXPECTATION
What do you expect JOY to be?
Happy all the time?
Looking at the bright side of things?
A perky smile always spread across your face?
Seeing life’s cup always 1/2 full?
Always singing the lil Bobby McFerrin tune “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?
Sure, these can all be by-products of a deeper, more sustaining, flourishing joy. But, many circumstances don’t warrant happy thoughts. When I hold these faulty expectations of joy, I can miss the deep empowering, underlying, sustaining source. And when I don’t feel so happy or perky or smiley in my crazy, I can easily discredit the truth of God and the help of His power for me.
SETTING TRUTHFUL EXPECTATIONS
Rejoice means “to be glad, exceedingly glad, to thrive.”
I love the description of “thrive” because it means “to make steady progress, to flourish, to grow or develop well.”
Joy is an ongoing process of living well.
Also, the word “chairo” is connected with the word “charis” for grace. The Hebrew-Greek Study Bible states “as if JOY is the direct result of God’s grace.”
1. My LACK OF joy often springs from the lack of grace in my life (i.e. pursuit of perfection OR festering bitterness OR fear of failure).
2. Joy comes in believing that God’s love and favour is freely given, undeserved, and unmerited. There is nothing I can do to earn it. I don’t deserve it. I can’t lose it. There are no conditions to it. Grace.
3. Joy is rooted in my acceptance of God’s grace. I will never have lasting, thriving, always joy if I have not accepted God’s grace and in turn forgiven myself. If I live by the standard of being the good girl, the superhero, the people-pleasure, I am not living by grace.
Joy is an ongoing lifestyle of accepting God’s grace in every situation, with every relationship, and in every challenge.
I’ll see you tomorrow for Day 2 as we expose the shallow and empty places we seek our joy in.