|International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM|
I was awake but having a hard time getting up. I've had something called adrenal fatigue for several months and mornings are hardest. I pretty much never wake up refreshed, so I have to choose to get moving. As I do the energy slowly comes. "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24) came to mind and I said it aloud. The effect was immediate. Not a huge effect, but an immediate lifting of my mood. It's happened before, so I know that this choice of rejoicing, being thankful, is important. The Word of God says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. That's what I want to write about.
Joy is not an emotion. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:23) That means it is supernatural. I don't think we hear enough about joy in that way. I believe that joy is something that God provides us with to help us with life - even to give us life which is satisfying, meaningful, purpose filled, vibrant, and full. When Jesus was praying in the upper room before going to out to Gethsemane, he said, "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." (John 17:13 NIV)
Joy is mentioned a lot more in the Bible than I realized until I looked in a concordance. My attitude toward my day this morning showed me how
This physical challenge has required me to really look at my thoughts, because I can let it depress me. Sometimes I have so little motivation, I can't tell if it is depression or the affect of physical fatigue on my mind. Maybe it doesn't matter, because I still have to choose a response. (This is one reason I've been reading so much! Sometimes it's all I feel up to doing.) But God was so gracious to show me how quickly His Word made a difference to my whole being this morning. Joy is supernatural, it is transcendent, and it transforms us from the inside in the presence of any circumstance.
Please do not think for one minute that I am saying we should all work harder to rejoice or suggesting a formula. This is all about the grace we have from God in relationship with Him. God made the way through the cross of Jesus and our part is to choose what we will agree with. As I thought about the power of joy, three words came to mind. When we face unwanted circumstances (even terrible ones) we can Accuse God (You are not good! I reject you. I deny your existence. I hate you.); we can Argue with God (If you are loving, how can you let this happen?) or we can Trust God (I don't understand. I don't like this, but You are here with me. My hope is in You and I need you to carry me).
|So Cute! (source unknown)|
Joy is a huge gift. Ask for more. Jesus prayed that we would have His full measure of it.