I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas celebration yesterday.
The day may be over but my prayer is that your joy will continue into the new year.
So this is it, the last week of The Faith Project. Before we wrap up 2016, I want to close the December with a review of what I learned about JOY.
I don’t want joy to be just a word we throw around at Christmas.
Seriously, don’t you want to take the feeling of joy with you into January and beyond?
Remember the definitions we used this month…
“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as He causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world… [Joy] is not an idea. It is not a conviction. It is not a persuasion or a decision. It is a feeling.” ~John Piper
“Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.” (Theopedia)
“Faith-filled joy = the happy state that results from knowing and serving God, joy is the fruit of a right relation with God, not something people can create by their own efforts.” (Holman Bible Dictionary)
“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” ~Kay Warren
In brief, joy is . . . a good feeling, a state of mind, contentment, confidence, and hope.
Based on these definitions, did you know..?
You and I cannot choose joy.
That’s the complete opposite of what I’ve heard most of my life. Go to Pinterest and search for “choose joy” and you’ll find a seemingly endless list of pics telling you to do just that.
So, I made up my mind I wanted to know more.
If you and I can’t choose joy, how do we get it?
Everything You Need to End the Year with Joy – A Month in Review
By focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus.
Through Jesus, God has done for us what we are unable to do for ourselves.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1
By leaning into the power only Jesus can give us.
Joy isn’t temporary and doesn’t depend on getting or keeping what we want. It fills us when all else fails and gives the confidence that in Jesus everything will be alright.
By remembering, if we have Jesus we have more than enough.
“Jesus doesn’t just give you what you need; Jesus is what you need. Your heart was created by Him, for Him. You can fight and claw to gain the world, but without Jesus, you will never be completely satisfied.” ~Louie Giglio
By knowing what to do to find our joy in Jesus.
Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective. Colossians 3:1–2
Aren’t you ready to stop shuffling along, with your eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you? Look up!
By knowing how to fill our joy tank when we’re depleted and drained.
You can’t keep pouring into others without getting a refill. It’s just NOT possible.
We’re guilty. We work so hard to make everything perfect for our loves. So we add extra shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining, and school activities to already full work schedules. We need help! We need joy!
By knowing the pure joy of the Gospel message.
I wanted to know the message of pure joy in a way that makes it easy to share.
We testify and proclaim to you that He is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then He was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. 1 John 1:2–4
By knowing how to love ourselves and our loved ones when life hurts.
I experienced a joyless season because I believed I needed Jesus plus ________ to have joy.
And I learned, Jesus plus anything can never give lasting joy because anything that can be lost can take your joy with it when it goes.
By making sure our joy shows.
Joy-filled people are HAPPIER!
And happier people are more fun to be around. Even when life is challenging . . . it’s possible for those who live with joy to find reasons to laugh and praise God.
This post will give you 8 ways to test yourself to see if your joy shows.
What did I learn about joy?
- You and I can’t choose joy.
- Jesus is the source of joy.
- Joy is a blessing of trusting Jesus.
- Our joy blesses touches others.
- Joy helps us love ourselves and others.
I’m done trying to “choose joy.” I’m through beating myself up on hard days.
With God’s help, I’m going into the year ahead with my heart and mind focused on Jesus knowing whatever is going on in my life . . . it is well with my soul and that is more than enough.
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