Finding True Joy requires looking beyond what sits in front of me. Joy comes from a foundation of Love that grows up hope and possibilities. It floods the darkness with light and fills the void with peace.
I started to pull out of our driveway, and I noticed that the delivery man had run over my garden sign. “Someone ran over my joy,” I announced. I picked up the sign and smiled before going on with my day.
The other day, someone who I thought was a friend sent a harsh message to me that poured salt into an already painful wound. Looking back now, I realized it was just someone running over my joy sign. But I rolled around in the emotions instead of just stopping and picking it up.
Emotions are dangerous waters when it comes to finding and living out true joy. They tend to tell you something and encouraged you to do things that pull you away from joy – and often drag others along with you whether they wanted to go or not.
It took some tears, angry cries, and a night’s sleep (although it wasn’t quite a good one) before I was able to pick up my joy sign and go on with my day.
Do you ever struggle to find true joy?
My joy didn’t come from the garden, but from the love that created the garden. First, it was filled with plants my mom had ordered just before she dies. Second, it was planted with the help of my sons. Third, it provided flowers that would fill our home with color and fragrance. Finally, it was labeled with a sign that came from my mom’s garden and had her name on it.
It was a heart thing.
Joy grows up from a heart that is focused on Jesus, then others, and then self. First, knowing the One that made you, and having a relationship that is personal and intimate. Second, investing in loving others the way the Maker loves you. Finally, walking out your unique design in purpose and on purpose.
When you do these three things, in this order, nothing can run over your joy for long. Even when tough times happen, you find your way to count it all joy.
Getting to the Heart
My morning started out amazing because it was all about Jesus. Not only did I get to go hang out in God’s house with people who loved Him, but I got to shout out His awesomeness by leading the class.
I got derailed when I shifted from a God focus to an emotional base. I hit one of those no moments like a rotten watermelon slamming into a brick wall – and it probably looked about as pretty.
In order to get back to my true joy, I had to get back to a right focus.
True Joy Focuses on Jesus
Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and shouted. “If that’s you, Jesus, tell me to come to you.”
Well, it was Jesus and He did call Peter and Peter jumped out of the boat and started walking to Jesus. Focused completely on Jesus, Peter walked on water. But then the waves started lapping over Peter’s feet and the wind threw up a splash in his face, or something happened to cause Peter to turn from Jesus to the waves.
And that’s when Peter began to sink.
The moment I turn my attention from Jesus, my Joy starts to slip away.
Loving Others in Joy
Have you ever noticed that it can be difficult to love people? Maybe it’s just me, but there are times when even the people I love the most in this world start rubbing my nerves the wrong way.
I can’t deal with people on my own. I’ve tried. It’s not pretty. It’s only when I lean into the Love of God that I’ve found an invested relationship in Him that I’m positioned to be invested in other people.
But when I do Love God and then Love others through that love, I find joy unspeakable!
Finding Joy in My Journey
Joy joins in a purposeful walk. When I know what I’m uniquely designed to do and I’m walking it out, then Joy will be there. That doesn’t mean I will laugh through the entire journey, but it does mean that soul-strengthening joy will be along for the entire ride!
It has to be my unique path, though. The moment I try to veer into someone else’s lane I either cause a wreck or stress me out (and at least one other driver along the way). The only way to stay in my lane is to know what it is I’m uniquely designed to do.
Joy comes in the knowing and living of my heartseed.
I’ve always heard that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Even when I started working through this article, I was focused on remembering the power of the joy of the the Lord. But when I read the rest of the verse, it added even more boost to my belief.
“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah tells the people to go have a party and not to weep, mourn, or sorrow. He said to go and eath the fat, drink the sweet, and share with others because this day was holy to our Lord.
When you look at it that way, and we should be looking at each day as holy to the Lord, then every day should be embraced in Joy of the Lord.Embrace every day with the joy of the Lord. Click To Tweet
Living in True Joy
True joy starts with a foundation in Jesus. Getting aligned to God in the Word and through the Word keeps you focused on the path you are uniquely designed to take. Keep it simple. Love Jesus. Love others. Live your unique design.
Take a Walk through the Bible
90 Days through the Bible offers more than daily Scripture readings. It was designed through yearly readings by the author with an emphasis on challenging you to see all you can see, learn all you can learn, and find your own way through the Word.
Get your copy by clicking HERE.
Listen to the #GrowingHOPE podcast
Click the play button below to listen to today’s episode on Growing Accountability – Finding True Joy. Joy gives you the strength to stand and the courage to get done what you know to do.