“A happy heart makes the face cheerful” Prverbs 15:13
“the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15
“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,” Proverbs 15:30
The common denominator in these three verses is happiness. We all know and love a joyful person. We are drawn to any person who looks happy and cheerful. We want in on their secret. A taste of whatever they have to offer.
Why, do some people always seem joyful? While others struggle to put a smile on their face? Sure, we have rough times due to deaths, health, consequences of sin, etc. but we’re told ‘don’t lose your joy’. Your spark. Your hope. But, how is that even possible? I mean, life gets tough. We get rocked to the core. Our breath gets taken away. We can’t move. It’s hard to feel….anything.
How can we be expected to find joy in that? Should we just slap a smile on and fake it till we make it?
I’ve tried that.
And then it didn’t work.
Life got all up in my face and the situation was twice as messed up and hard to deal with. So don’t do that.
It’s ok to cry and mourn and weep and rely on others when you can’t stand on our own. But, don’t you dare lose the joy of the Lord.
“the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Here’s a thought- The joy of the Lord is where I flex my muscles! 🙂 Need a divine workout? Try joy!
You can bet, the enemy knows joy is your strength, even more than you do. You are strong when you find joy in the Lord. You are a force to be reckoned with when you set your eyes and heart on the Lord. When your unwavering faith is that He will pull you through and your hope is in His promises, you will find a joy unmatchable! You will cling to that joy, even if its just a little spark, because it makes you strong. It secures your hope. Even if its a small joy, an itty bitty joy, its still a joy. It’s still a light that the enemy can not squelch.
Oh, he’ll try. He’ll try hard. But, he can’t, because in joy you are flexing a God muscle. He can’t because you want joy. You weren’t made by a sad God, so He didn’t give you a longing for sadness. No, He planted a deep longing in you to want joy. To want light and life. And, when you hold on to even the smallest spark of joy, you defeat the enemy with your God muscle.
This joy will grow. It will fill you with strength and courage. Then, it will spill over and radiate from your very being. You will smile more, laugh more and enjoy more, because of your strength in joy.
You’ll have a cheerful look when you flex your joy muscle. You’ll find life much more live-able. It will become a continual feast, a continual reason to celebrate with Him.
Where can we find things to celebrate in the midst of great trial? When we don’t feel like or simply can’t see light in all the pain?
Consider the small things:
Marvel at flower.
Listen to a childs laughter.
Watch a sunrise/sunset.
Listen to the birds chirping.
See the stars twinkling.
Watch the clouds everchanging.
Feel the wind.
Listen to the rain.
The joy of the Lord.
Your strength for the next moment. Your strength for the next hour. Your strength for this day. Your strength every day.
Don’t you dare let the enemy take away your joy muscle! Flex it. Feel it. Look at it. Show it off.
The more you use it, the stronger it becomes!
The joy of the Lord is your strength!