Joy is a pretty simple word but so complex in action. Merriam Webster describes the word as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. It goes on to say that to be joyful is to be in a state of happiness. Ahhh…my desire is to be happy. When you are happy, you feel good. I relate it to feeling the warmth of the sunshine deep down in your soul after many dreary days. Your happiness is contagious and is constantly looking for someone to affect. John 10:10 says that Jesus came that we might enjoy life. So how can we enjoy life when our joy is gone?
I may have mentioned in the past that I have been reading Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity (a must have book, I might add). She tells us that insecurity typically stems from some form of fear or threat. We often are afraid of something, someone, losing something, or being displaced. In my mind, insecurity = joyless. No sooner than I am out of the gate trying to practice some of my new found knowledge, I am attacked. Really, should I think otherwise?
So I am having a conversation with my boyfriend, a conversation he thought would make me happy but ended up back firing on him and making me upset. For some time now, I have wanted a heart monitor, one that counts calories and communicates the information to a watch. Since he is in the sports medicine field, I have been secretly (I use the word secretly because I never shared this desire with him) hoping he would either buy me one or get me one from work. So back to my story…he is telling me that he and his dad are shopping at a sports store and they stopped to look at heart monitors. Literally, my heart begins to race with anticipated excitement thinking he is a dear and bought me one. He proceeds to tell me that he walks away without one. His dad questions why he doesn’t buy it for me and he says (in a tone not too appealing to an insecure woman) that he is not going to buy me that. Well, that is all I heard. Immediately I am feeling unworthy of a trivial item and my feelings are hurt. He can sense the conversation is going downhill and tries to explain that I should be happy that his dad was “all about me”. In all honesty, I was thrilled to hear this but I could not shake the hurt feelings.
So there it was…a prime opportunity for the devil to sneak in and steal my joy. I have to admit, I let the devil win for a bit. I sulked and soaked in hurt feelings and even had feelings of irritation towards my boyfriend. Clearly, I was acting a bit childish and I can admit that I took out of context. So the next day, I decided to bring it up. When I allowed him to explain himself, he informed me that it was not the kind of monitor I wanted and he did not want to buy it just to buy it. There I was feeling silly and I realized that I spent time being upset when I could have been full of joy.
What is the secret for being full of joy? I think it is a conscience choice. You have to make up your mind that you are going to choose joy. You have to be able to manage your emotions instead of letting them manage you! Trust me I do not have a handle on this or I would not be writing about this today. If anyone has any tried and true methods to share, I would be happy to entertain them. In reality, I think we could all probably agree that it just takes time and experience to achieve this and be stable.
Isaiah 55:12 says, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (NIV). I leave you with this final thought. It is time for us to take back what the enemy keeps stealing. Let’s make a choice today to “choose joy” and be filled with song and praise for the beauty around us!
Love in Christ,