Friday, May 2, 2014

Making His Joy Your Joy

Hey Friend,
Tears welled up in my eyes as I walked out to get the mail from my mailbox.  I looked around to make sure that I would not meet eye to eye with any of my neighbors who were out and about.  I just didn't have it in me. Numbly, I pulled out the mail and just as I was about to shut the door, I heard it.  Faintly at first, but it was definitely there...chirp, chirp, chirp.  I looked into the newspaper cubby beneath the box, but I couldn't see anything.  It was just too dark.  So I bent down and put my ear up to the opening and heard just the sweetest little chorus. 
All of a sudden, I burst into hot tears that streamed down my cheeks.  My life had turned to hell this week and here God was giving me an offering of joy.  Year after year, the bluebirds have tried building a nest under the mailbox and year after year something happens that the eggs never hatch.  No bluebird babies, but today was different.  They were alive and they were singing for their supper.  There was hope after all...
In my pain, this was God's humble and merciful gift to me.  Christ made it clear:  He intends that His joy should become our joy.  Yet sometimes, amid the inevitable hustle and bustle of life here on earth, we can forfeit - albeit temporarily - the joy of Christ as we wrestle with the challenges of everyday living.  In place of my usual ramblings, I offer some thoughts on joy...
Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century American clergyman, observed, "Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble, but he will give you an abundance of the contrary: joy and delight.  They who come to Christ do not only come to a resting-place after they have been wandering in the wilderness, but they come to a banqueting-house where they may rest, and where they may feast.  They may cease from their former troubles and toils, and they may enter upon a course of delights and spiritual joys."
"Our sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life increases, no matter what the circumstances, if we are in the center of God's will."  (Billy Graham)
"If you can forgive the person you were, accept the person you are, and believe in the person you will become, you are headed for joy.  So celebrate your life."  (Barbara Johnson)
"Lord, I thank you for the promise of heaven and the unexpected moments when you touch my heartstrings with that longing for my eternal home."  (Joni Eareckson Tada)
"Joy is the direct result of having God's perspective on our daily lives and the effect of loving our Lord enough to obey His commands and trust His promises."  (Bill Bright)
"Joy is the heart's harmonious response to the Lord's song of love."  (A.W. Tozer)
If today, like me, your heart is weary and heavy laden, I invite you to open the door of your soul to Christ.  He, and only He, can give you peace and joy.  He wants to make His joy your joy.  Are you willing to let him?
May I add two scriptures to meditate on...if joy has been eluding you...will you join me in meditating upon them?
Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  (John 15:11)
His joy for my sorrow...His perfect life for my sinful life.  What a good and gracious God we have!
In His love,

ps, Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments.  If you've experienced God making His joy, your joy this week...would you share so that we may all be encouraged?