How is Your Joy Level?

Like a tired old car wheezing up a country hill on fumes, my joy sometimes evaporates, leaving me stranded in a plume of dust.

An unwelcome turn of events, a sour phone call, or a crushing misunderstanding and *poof* my joy conks out, leaving my joy gauge (and my energy) sputtering near zero.

Can you relate?

...and be not grieved or depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold. (Nehemiah 8:10b)

I'm learning that authentic joy doesn't have to evaporate the moment a problem arrives. The truth is, if our joy gauge constantly fluctuates based on our circumstances, then variable issues (over which we have no control) are in charge of our joy--not us.

My joy tends to evaporate fastest from relational conflicts, hurts or disappointments. Maybe yours does, too. Or maybe you lose your joy when a physical ailment flares up. Perhaps financial pressure sucks the joy right out of you. Whatever it is, we have a choice--our joy gauges don't have to bottom out.

The truth is, we can possess a deep,biding joy. Because authentic joy is available to me (and to you) not because of our circumstances, but in spite of them, and because of our relationship with Jesus, in whom all authentic joy is found.

So from now on, I hope you'll join me in declaring--in the midst of all your troubles, issues, disappointments and hurts--the following:

Lord, You are the source of my joy.

When hurt feelings flare, when your body aches, when troubles of any kind taunt you, take a deep breath and declare it aloud:

Lord, You are the source of my joy.

Every time we say this, we are fill ourselves with joy by reminding ourselves that (1) we have a choice, and (2) our joy is based on Jesus, His Holy word, and the finished work of the cross.

Ultimately, our joy does not depend on someone treating us right or the disappearance or resolution of all our troubles. And that means we can be filled with deep, abiding joy in spite of our less than perfect lives.

The next time your joy gauge begins to sink, remember our joy is a priceless, holy gift that no one can siphon without our permission.

I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. (John 15:11)


Elysa Henegar said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Julie, just when I needed them!

Karen said...

Ha, next time my joy gauge sinks I will remember your words. Fill'er up!

Cheryl Barker said...

So, so glad that we can have joy in the Lord no matter what else is going on in our lives.

Have a joy-filled week, Julie!

Susan said...

So TRUE, Julie! I think it's good to speak that truth aloud, because the act of verbalizing it and also hearing it undergirds it in our hearts.
I started teaching a series on Luke, and JOY is the theme of my Wed post!

Anonymous said...

Joy is my word that I have selected this year. I want to experience more joy in my life.So many times I let my circumstances control my joy. Thanks for the reminder that Real Joy comes from the LORD.


Lord, you are the source of my joy ... such good news.


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