Always Be Full Of JOY IN The LORD ~ I Say IT Again ~ REJOICE
Christmas Day, 2017 is all but forgotten, but remnants of the season still remain. While driving the highway recently, my eyes were met by a billboard reminding me what a JOY it is to use a local hospital. Within a few yards another billboard proclaimed JOY from a local bank. At Christmas time, JOY is printed on cards, shown in framed selfies, engraved on home décor, and jingled on jewelry. It seemed a wonderful reminder. Why then does the believer often seem “joyless?”
Due to on-going circumstances, I have been struggling with lost joy. I wrote this recently in my journal: Father, long-term sorrow has made me restlessness, not much peace, where is the gift of joy in you? It seems hidden from me. Restore my joy.
It so happened that the next Sunday, women’s Bible study was wrapping up the study by Dr. Warren Weirsbe’s, BE Joyful: Philippians. They were engaged in favorite scriptures from this study focusing on Jesus. As I listened, God in His mercy began to revitalize my “joyless” soul with His word. He will do that you know, listen for His leading.
Anyway, Monday came, I swam at the YMCA then headed for Corinne’s Garden to meet with my Lord. I had taken the BE Joyful book and opened to read “In Philippians chapter 1, Paul discusses his difficult circumstances and faces them honestly. But his circumstances cannot rob him of his joy because he is not living to enjoy circumstances; he is living to serve Jesus Christ. He is a man with a purpose.”
I felt a wave of conviction washing over me; opening my eyes to what living to serve Jesus and not to enjoy circumstances is really like. I began to see the importance of cultivating the right kind of mind, referred to by the author as the “single-mind” or a single-hearted devotion to Christ thus, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).” Stop here and refresh with me; many times we read scripture and “skim over” what we can learn about God. In the context of the “single-mind,” I began to understand what Philippians 1:21 meant. Am I single-minded? Oh Father, throughout my days let me take stock of my single-minded approach to you. Instill in me a single devotion for you and your word, and not just for my own likes and dislikes. Let me experience that JOY even as I battle the enemy. Sweet friend, I present you a belated gift of encouragement ~ through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, unwrap the gift of “single- mindedness” daily with prayer and God’s word; equipping you for JOY- filled days in the Lord; “Even When Things Go Wrong.”
Quotes & adaptations from: Warren W. Wiersbe, BE JOYFUL Even When Things Go Wrong You Can Have Joy, David C. Cook, 2008