When you hear the word JOY, does it make you jump for it? You know the saying….”jump for JOY!” Maybe you hear the word JOY and you roll your eyes. You are convinced that people who have JOY are simply out of control people who walk around with their heads in the clouds. Or maybe at the sound of the word, you cringe? You think to yourself…”Joy is something some people have, but not me!
FRIEND, I have good news for you!
JOY is for everyone!
JOY is defined in the dictionary as:
“An emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure or elation.”
“A state of happiness or felicity.”
First of all, these definitions tell us that JOY is an emotion. Like it or not friends, we all have emotions! Some of us display them fervently on the outside of our beings clearly for everyone to see. While some of us hold them close to ourselves on the inside of our beings, revealing them only when we chose to and whom we chose to show them to.
Regardless, we all have them!
Secondly, these definitions describe that JOY is displayed in delight or happiness. You can have a demure response and coyly demonstrate your JOY. Or you can have an exuberant response and no one within a five mile radius would miss your JOY!
Finally, these definitions make clear that the emotions and displays of JOY have a cause.
You know, that old “cause and effect” rule we all learned about in school. Something exceptionally good or satisfying happens to us, hence the cause, and we have an emotion of great delight or happiness, equalling the effect!
The cause and effect together create JOY!
Our “CAUSE” for JOY is JESUS!
“By this we know love, that HE laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for each other.” I John 3:16
This CAUSE should create the EFFECT of JOY in our lives!
Because of what JESUS did for us on the cross, we have eternal life with Him forever!
If this “cause” does not bring on the “effect” of JOY in your life, you may need to check your pulse. Are you alive?
Jesus died for us so that we could live forever with Him!
That is pure JOY my friends, any way you slice it!
So, if JOY is for everyone, how come it is so hard to find at times?
The answer to this came to me from the lips of a young child!
IF YOU HAVE JESUS YOU HAVE JOY!
As I was snuggling one night in bed with my oldest granddaughter, we were having our “girl chat time,” as she calls it! We had finished our prayers and were “chatting” about the most important things in life…her birthday party guest list, her detailed plans about her party, (she gets this trait from her mother),her present wish list, (are you catching on that she is a list maker?),and she turns to me, looks at me face to face and says, “MAMMA, I am so full of JOY!” Then she said, “Wait a minute, JOY is putting JESUS First, then others, then yourself! I need to step back from asking for so much stuff!”
I cannot make this up people! She really is ‘one of a kind,’ with a very bright mind and a beautiful heart, but she had just hit the nail on the head with that statement.
I asked her where she learned that and she said her teacher! Kudos to teachers! There are NEVER enough good ones!
“JOY is putting JESUS FIRST, then OTHERS, then YOURSELF!”
J ESUS FIRST
O THERS NEXT
When JOY evades us maybe it is because we are not practicing this formula?
Afterall, JESUS set it into motion with His CAUSE and EFFECT toward us!
Remember I John 3:16
“By this we know…We do not have to doubt or wander if JOY is for us, WE KNOW!
JESUS FIRST IN OUR LIVES GIVES US JOY!
“that He laid down His life for us…” The CAUSE for our JOY, the sacrifice of JESUS for
“and we ought to lay down our lives for each other.” For us to have JOY in our lives
OTHERS come next!
And the magic to the formula is…When we do this, we have JOY ourselves!
Praying you have a JOY this week as you put
J esus first
O thers next, and then
Speak Truth Love