Joy - Part III



Friday, November 23 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/

and JOY – PART II,

here at this link: http://www.reflectionsforliving.com/reflection/2282/joy-part-ii/

 

Then, having done so, continue on here, reading more from Crosby’s chapter on JOY. To recap a bit…

 

Crosby mentions 7 disciplines leading to JOY:

 

1. JOY reads

2. JOY sings

3. JOY gives

4. JOY communes

5. JOY meditates

6. JOY serves

7. JOY enjoys

 

And I, Bev, would add three more disciplines:

 

8. JOY Listens!

 

What greater joy could there be than standing or sitting beside Him who loves me deeply and eternally, and simply listening to Him speak! “…The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice …” (John 3:29)

 

9. JOY Gives Thanks!

 

According to author Ann Voskamp, the Greek words for “grace” (jaris), and for “giving thanks” (eucharisteo) and for “joy” (jara) are all related. When we see and hear and recognize God’s infinite and multifaceted grace in all aspects of our daily lives, and when we give intentional and specific thanks for those gifts of grace, then our joy is multiplied. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

 

10. JOY Abides!

 

In God’s vineyard, He as the Father is the Vinegrower – Jesus Christ is the true vine – and we are the branches. In order for the branches to bear fruit, and to find deep joy in being fruitful, they need to remain attached to the vine. Jesus told His disciples: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

 

B. CHOOSING JOY

 

In the final analysis, JOY is a regular experience no Christian can afford to miss. It requires certain disciplines, but they are well worth it … One day our final destination will be not only entering into heaven but entering into joy itself! And we’ll hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

 

And so, dear friend: “Rejoice!”

 

When all is good and well in your life, “Rejoice!”

 

When all is difficult and sad in your life, “Rejoice!”

 

Because at all times, good and bad, “… the JOY of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

 

Because JOY is a fruit that can grow in all situations and seasons of life, since it does not depend on them. It is a fruit that rests and trusts solely in the good and faithful Gardener who always does all things well.



More Reflections [+]