… and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior… Luke 1:47 NIV
Okay, so maybe the secret behind having exhilarating joy isn’t a secret to some of you?
And, I know, exhilarating is not a common word choice for many.
Well, recently, I spoke at a non-profit’s launch party, and I mentioned how I didn’t start using certain words until I began to walk with God. These were words like exhilarating, exceptional, extraordinary, oh and incredible. It wasn't because I didn’t know these words or didn’t understand how to use them, but because I wasn’t experiencing many things in my life that would cause me to put them to use. The point I wanted to make clear to the audience on that day is that walking with God is not boring and uneventful. Instead, it is crazy, adventurous and intrinsically challenging, which can prompt one, well me, to use words like exhilarating and unbelievable. Even better, doing this life with God in the driver’s seat can cause one to feel unbelievably well, even when things aren’t apparently well. This “euphoric feeling” of joy comes from the big secret: God’s presence, peace and love.
I figured, you probably knew this already, but for those that may not…
The joy of the Lord that stems from God’s presence, peace and love REALLY is unmatched – in this world. Okay, skydiving, COOL, bungee jumping, WOW, getting married, YUMMERS, but none of these ah—mazing experiences top the joy that rests within the heart, soul and being of those who know that God is really with them, cares for them and is leading them towards an abundant life (John 10:10). The joy I’m talking about can’t be taken away from you; and when it hits you, you just know you’ve been blessed by something bigger than your doing!
If you feel like you are all out of joy or maybe joy seems to have passed you by, don’t fret! The faith journey comes with many strains too, but joy should not be totally absent from your experience of God. Jesus said, “you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” (John 16:20)
In the meantime:
Pray with an earnest heart to discover what joy is and is not.
Push your fears and frustrations into God’s care (over and over again).
Praise God for what you have and the exhilarating joy that’s on its way.
Don’t be afraid to weep and weep in the night, in time daylight will come. (Psalm 30:5)
God, help me to see and experience the fullness of Your joy. Remove whatever angst, doubt or sadness trying to prevent me from rejoicing in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.