"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
I was given the privilege to speak not once but twice during my church's last series State of Mind. What a humbling opportunity. (Read about my Hope message)
If you know me at all then you know this is not the typical me but it's the God-changing me. It's the me that wants to do my best to say, "Yes, Lord." and to surrender to His leading. It can be and is a daunting step of faith to say yes to whatever opportunity He may give, however, it's been said that joy is born from obedience.
That was my topic for the last message in the series but, personally, the month leading up to this message was anything but joy. In the normal scheme of things.
But what does God want us to know and remember about His Joy. Is it really possible in this flawed world?
In the normal scheme of things life is going to be hard. In the normal scheme of things it's going to hurt. When we are dealing with the difficulties of life - when relationships can't truly be mended because the offended party doesn't give you the opportunity - when the elderly parent doesn't like the decisions you've been forced to make for their well-being... WHEN it happens, not IF it happens, in the normal scheme of things...
Life will not always be all hunky dory, rosy and pain free but even in the midst of pain, struggle, heartache and loss - EVEN "in the normal scheme of things" God wants us to know that HIS Joy can become OUR Joy. Completely. (John 15:11)
He promises us this in John 15, if we will follow His instructions and abide in Him.
So wouldn't abiding, [to remain; continuously fix or focus our mind on Christ] be a vital step of faith or act of obedience, that could bring us the joy we need when facing difficult and discouraging situations? (Isaiah 26:3 and Roman 8:6)
True joy is possible, however, we cannot know it fully without Christ. Christ is our only true source of joy. (John 15:5)
While I was busy with personal matters leading up to this message, God enabled me to complete both difficult tasks of preparing this message on JOY even while experiencing a life changing event for my family that was mentally, emotionally and physically draining.
I believe every word He led me to speak and I struggle every day to live by it. But I don't give up. I do my best to choose every day and do everything I can to fight for the joy He promises. (Psalm 119:2 and Psalm 34:8)
A promise that is not only possible but a gift from Him, if we will choose.
Watch the Joy message here to learn more about this gift of Joy and the key to receiving it. Watch any of the other messages from this series here.