Joy - Part II



Wednesday, November 21 2018

 

 

“I made up my mind a few years ago that I wanted to be a joyful Christian, not periodically, but consistently. I wanted to be a person who regularly experiences the fullness of joy that Christ promised. Most of all, I wanted my experience and expression to be authentic, real, and contagious.”

 

These words come from the “Follow Jesus, Follow Joy” excerpt of Robert Crosby’s book entitled The One Jesus Loves.

 

If you haven’t done so yet,

go back and read JOY – PART I,

here at this link: http://www.reflectionsforliving.com/reflection/2281/joy-part-i/.

 

Then, having done so, continue on here, reading more from Crosby’s chapter on JOY…

 

A. DISCIPLINES LEADING TO JOY

 

In order to tap into the joy supply Christ has secured for us, we will need discipline. Joy is not merely an emotion felt within; it is a discipline we must cultivate and practice.

 

The Bible makes it clear that certain disciplines in our daily routine will lead to a greater sense of joy. Here are some I have found:

 

1. JOY Reads!

 

Reading the Scripture can be an incredible source of joy. The psalmist apparently tapped into this source of joy often: “The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.” (Psalm 19:8) – and “I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.” (Psalm 119:162)

 

2. JOY Sings!

 

Singing … is one of my favorite ways to stir up and release the joy of the Lord in my heart. Singing allows my soul to move its focus away from the circumstances of life and toward the character of God. It’s downright therapeutic. Even Paul encouraged the Ephesian Christians to make music a habit in their lives: “Be filled with the Spirit... Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:18-19)

 

3. JOY Gives!

 

A generous spirit is a joyous spirit. Paul praised the Macedonians for their cheerful giving: “Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2)

 

4. JOY Communes!

 

At this stage of growth in Christ, in the Twelve, the primary characteristic of a follower is being a comrade. Our focus and much of our joy come not only from walking with Christ, or working for Christ but also from doing both of these together with others in community. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!... For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1,3)

 

5. JOY Meditates!

 

Our joy is renewed by remembering God, by meditating on His goodness, by recalling his specific acts of faithfulness to us: “You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night. Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 63:5-7)

 

6. JOY Serves!

 

Jesus came into this world presenting Himself as a servant, not a king (Philippians 2). He came to show us that the greatest joy is found when we learn how to truly serve God and people in need. The journey of serving God is supposed to be one paved with great joy: “Serve the Lord with gladness.” (Psalm 100:2)

 

7. JOY Enjoys!

 

What about enjoying God? God wants us to worship Him, and He wants us to enjoy Him. The psalmist wrote: “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

 

Pastor John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

 

Join me again on Friday November 23 for the end of this reflection: JOY - PART III.



More Reflections [+]