Where Is The Joy?

If you were to tell me a year ago that I didn’t have joy in my life, I would have protested.  However, what is evident to others is often disguised to the actual person.  

So it was in this particular area of my life.  At the end of 2018, the Lord impressed profoundly on my heart the words Radiant Joy based on the scripture passage Psalm 34:4-5.  The Lord then gently but firmly began the process of revealing the deficit of joy in my Christian walk.  

God helped me see that the real joy of Christ was not penetrating and seeping out of my life onto others.  In fact, people were being turned away from the lack of joy they saw in my life.  

If no one wanted the Christ they were seeing in me, then something was wrong, and something needed to change!!

Thus began the process of dedicating the entire 2019 year towards being intentional in seeing, believing, and being joyful in all circumstances.

Needless to say, as I have become more conscious of joy this year, I get excited when I see the word joy, experience joy, or see others experience the joy of Christ.  

Are you happy?

Last week my children and husband served at Camp Blessing, a special needs camp here in Texas, where they were paired with a special needs child for the week.  Our daughter, Hannah, was paired with a nonverbal young lady whose only words were: 

“I’m happy. Are you happy?”  

Hannah says she spent the entire week telling her camper as well as herself that she was happy.  Before long, Hannah realized that she was not only happy but that she genuinely had joy.

What changed? 

Say It

My daughter discovered that repeatedly saying she was happy allowed her heart to catch up with her mind.  She knew that she has joy in the Lord, but to believe it deep down in your heart and to allow it to spill over onto others was a different story.

By speaking the truth of what she knew in God’s Word, allowed the Lord to let His truth to be heard not only through her ears but also in her heart.  

There is power in the spoken truth of God’s Word.  As we speak the truth, actions soon follow. 

Do It

Hannah discovered as she spoke the truth that she was happy, her actions became an extension of that truth.  She found herself joyful even if they were late to an event or if something didn’t go just right.  The schedule did not have to be kept for them to be happy.

She and her camper could be happy just because they were happy.

Isn’t this the truth of the Christian life?  We are joyful because the joy of the Lord lives inside us.  

Conclusion

I had the opportunity to visit the camp towards the end of the week.  Hannah’s camper was all smiles, and you could tell she was happy.  It was a great reminder to myself that if we are happy and we know it, then our face should surely show it.  

We have all sung the song.  

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. 

Where?  

Down in my heart to stay.

The words reveal great truth about the joy of the Lord and how deep it penetrates the believer’s heart.  

However, if the joy of the Lord only stays deep in our hearts and never shows up on our face, in our speech, or our actions, then how will anyone ever come to know real joy or have a desire to experience joy themselves?

As I celebrate 44 years of life today, I am thankful for a God who continues to reveal areas of weakness in my life that do not look like Him.  I am grateful that He is gentle and kind and good in how He loves His children enough not to leave them where they are at but draws them towards Christ-likeness.

I am still on this joy journey and in the process of learning how to express outwardly the joy that is down in my heart.  Will you join me?  

Leave a comment or join me on Instagram and share how joy manifests itself in your life.

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