DO YOU NEED JOY?
With happiness harder to come by these days, people are grasping at any moment of joy they can get.
– Laura M. Holson
ARE YOU GRASPING FOR JOY?
THE PROBLEM: We live in a world looking for instantaneous happiness when what we yearn for is the soul-filled joy that sustains.
- We’re keen enough to remember what made us feel good so our instinct is to return.
- But what if we’ve never felt soul-filled joy. How can we return or even get there?
- Some of us escape the demands of the world recognizing that this place does in fact feel better.
- But again is this the soul-filled joy we truly need?
- This sort of filling we get from outside needs refilled.
- Sometimes this world is just too hard for us to stay joyful.
- We may wonder when the pain or struggles will be over.
I get it. Today, I just want you to think about where you’re at? What your habits are? And gain some new insight on how to get soul-filling joy!
THE WORD: “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
Nehemiah, an Old Testament book, tells the story of Nehemiah and a remnant of Jews who returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon. Their task was to rebuild the walls of the holy city of Jerusalem. Though granted permission to do this by the King, all was not easy; at every turn, they encountered obstacles and opposition. There were multiple reasons to be discouraged, unhappy, and to give up, but through Nehemiah’s leadership and their perseverance, they finished the wall. The people celebrated their accomplishment by the priest, Ezra, reading God’s law in the temple square. As the priest read, the people listened attentively, lifted their hands in praise, wept aloud, and bowed down to worship God. Nehemiah then told them to “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10, NLT
THE GIFT: When we find our joy in God, we find strength and reason to celebrate with God.
- If we want the joy that fills from within… Get God within.
- HOW? Look above.
- Assigned and approved doesn’t mean easy (obstacles at every turn) me-Jeff-Raya-Riley-coaching
- Celebrated accomplishments – not worldly celebrating/sabbath celebrating
- lift hands in praises, HIS role too
- wept, it’s okay when we screw up it’s hard, repent and know HE SAVES
- bow to worship, you get the power involved
- and they, as directed celebrated…. I think after the pattern of seasons…
THE CHOICE: Soul filled joy is different than the happiness the world can provide. Joy is intrinsic and we find it when we discover meaning in life (You are God’s… and designed with a purpose a calling.) Happiness is extrinsic based on other people, things, and circumstances. Joy is not easily destroyed because it is internal, but when things go wrong, happiness can quickly crumble. God gives us joy based on his love (SO GET GOD PARTNERED AND GET HIS LOVE INTO YOU). This will provide grace, purpose, hope, and assurance to our lives no matter the circumstance.
Nehemiah and the Jewish remnant found God-given joy because they:
- Stayed grounded in him amid obstacles and difficulties,
- Followed his directives even when things were not going well,
- Humbled themselves, wept, and repented of their sins,
- Embraced his grace and mercy and basked in his love,
- Celebrated God’s miracles in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and
- Cared for others in need.
No matter your circumstances, we, too can follow these principles and find joy. Joy is a choice. A God-partnered choice that gives us the strength to stand against our enemies and to stand firmly on God’s promises.
QUESTION AND ANSWER:
Karen: My son Jacob is struggling. He has been such a great kid. He did never got into trouble growing up and has since graduated at the top of his class and finished college without a lot of difficulties but we worry about him. He has always been so happy, people have always been attracted to him. He got a job right away and is very responsible but his joy is starting to fade. We think he is tired. He still goes out with his single friends – probably being the life of the party but we feel he is just getting too old for that and that he is seeing his friends get married and find their soul mates. He has even started giving up on dreams he once had saying maybe he will never marry. We don’t know what to do other than to pray. I don’t even want to write this but we wonder if he is turning to what used to be his glory days to fill up and that he may be doing it more and more as he feels worse and worse… getting into a cycle of dependency on something that may only bring him down more and farther from his dreams.
Kyle and Ann: We are beat, we work three PT jobs in covid and are burning at both ends to stay afloat. It’s hard to keep the joy. I know we are supposed to delight in our suffering but this is getting ridiculous, I wonder sometimes why God is doing this. Then get mad at me for blaming God.
See you next week on Living Within the Sweet Spot where you leading and succeeding God’s way!
Alright, folks that is gonna do on this episode of Living Within the Sweet Spot.
Jesus looked at them & said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Math 19:26
I’ll see you next week, go live | love | learn | lead according to the call God has on your sweet life.
Niccie Kliegl CLC, RN