Deeper Day 16: Living From Joy

As I continue to recount to you the many lessons that I have learned during this winter season, let me establish this for you.  I chose every single day to live FROM joy.  You won’t often find me cranky in the mornings.  You will instead find me grounded in joy.  You won’t often find me withholding praise and worship from God.  You will instead watch me bleed out all the pain and turmoil from within my heart, onto the keys of the piano and through my voice in passionate singing.  No, I’m not perfect in any of it, but this is what I strive for….to be found full of joy, no matter what.

So, instead of constantly lamenting the perceived drought in our life, we set out to embrace the challenge and to actively use the time to build into family.  Let me tell you, it’s been so worth it.

We brought our kids together and made a list of daily things to pray for (as God instructed us to do).  We have enjoyed the Christmas break, and Chris and my three oldest have killed seven deer between themselves.  So, we not only filled the freezer, but the kids also enjoyed a lot of Daddy time.  Priceless.  We are teaching our kids to walk out this thing called faith, and to do it not with a sour expression and lamenting, but with the fullness of joy and expectation of good things.

See, nothing good in life happens by accident.  It’s all set into motion from something.  If you’re rooted in joy, then when you are disappointed by life, it takes far less time to get back to that joy.

I’ve noticed my “turn around time” from the pangs of struggle to joy is so much less than in years previous.  That’s because I’ve already spent years pouring into this idea.

Now, I’m not talking about fake happiness. I’m not talking about putting on the “happy face” when you’re really crying on the inside.  No, what I’m talking about is being open and very real with God and then letting Him speak truth to my heart so I can move forward.  I’m talking about believing in the character of God.  He is good.  There is no darkness in Him.  He is trustworthy.

Every day I recount to myself the attributes of God.  Every day I remind myself of the history I have with Him.  I remind myself that He’s never ever let me down so far, so why would He now?  I remind myself that He opened every door that led us to Oklahoma and even this specific house, so why would He abandon us now?  The simple answer is, He won’t.  But there’s more…. I don’t worship Him for what He gives me or what He has done.  I worship Him because He is God and I love Him.  That’s as real as I can get with you.  And it’s totally true.  I am so in love with Him that I can’t even entertain the idea of Him not being Who He said He is.  I believe Him. That’s all I really need to know.

Prayer Moment:  Has this word convicted you that maybe you need more joy in your life?  That’s ok.  It’s never too late.  Take a minute and repent of any crappy attitudes you’ve had and ask God to awaken the joy within you.  I guarantee He will do it!

The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.  Proverbs 10:28

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.  Isaiah 12:6