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Monday, September 10, 2012

Joy – Week 4

I have a confession to make.

I’m a joy deserter.

If I’m around someone who is angry, I desert my joy and get steamy too. If my husband or my kids are bummed out, I crawl right down in the pit with them.

What good is that?

What is benefited if I give up my joy and get all covered in the slim of anger or discouragement too?

Yet often that is exactly what I do: give joy up.

So far I’ve had three weeks of studying joy and it’s really challenged me!

Jesus said that when His Holy Spirit came to live inside us “no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22b)

Joy is not something that can be taken from me; that must mean that if I don’t have joy, I must have given it up!

Right now, I am sitting in the airport. It’s Saturday night and my flight has been delayed…twice. I am surrounded by many, many extremely unhappy and anxious people; giving away their joy because of bad weather. As I type, the lady behind me yells at her husband; as if it is his fault.

There is a part of me that wants to join them! A part of me, wants to crawl in the pit and get angry too.  But, more than that, I want to make “imperfect progress” as Lysa TerKeurst and learn to hang on to joy, even if I do spend the night in the airport tonight.

So, I turn my thoughts away from the circumstances right before and turn to all that I have to be really thankful for today.

Thankful for a great morning with the women and teens in Germantown, Maryland; for the lives who learned today, maybe for the first time, just how crazy Jesus is about them!

Thankful for my husband and children that I am blessed to be able to go home to.

Thankful that though I am alone in this airport, I really truly am not alone.

Only the power that comes from the Holy Spirit can give us the strength we need to avoid the pits of anger or discouragement. “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 That strength comes when we replace the stinky thinking in our mind with the truth of God’s word and words of thankfulness.

Jesus’ desire is for us to experience each day, no matter what is going around us, his joy. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” (John 17:13)

I saw this in the most beautiful way through my friend, Bonnie. Bonnie was diagnosed with breast cancer just a week into making the desire to homeschool her children last fall. Even in the face of the strongest of joy robbers, Bonnie leaned on Jesus and held on to her joy. What an inspiration she has been to me!

Friend, something is going to get up in your face and try to steal your joy today. You’ve got a choice: give it away or lean hard on the Holy Spirit and hang on. I’m hanging on…you can too!

The winner of last Wednesday’s Faith Builder Packis  Krista who posted September 5, 2012 at 9:28 am. Congratulations, Krista! Please email me your full name and address at Lynn@LynnCowell.com.

If you haven’t signed up to receive the free 7 Day Faith Builder, be sure to do that today and join nearly 6,000 moms investing in filling the love gaps in their girls hearts! Just click here to get started!

 

Lynn

Comments

  1. thank you lynn for your devotional at P31 and then this blog…so many days, weeks, months and years have been wasted by letting my joy get robbed by my husband’s lack of joy. Both of your messages today have gone hand in hand to the two most detrimental things in my life at this time. Please pray with me that I can learn to embrace the truths in each…to look to the Lord to be my husband and to not allow my joy to be stolen…by anyone! Thank you so much…

    • Father, many things in life pull at us and honestly, it is just really hard to to get pulled in! Please help Misty to look to you each and every day to fill the love gap in her heart and to fill her with joy that can’t be taken away! You are most powerful, Lord! Amen

  2. Thank you Lynn. I am working to get my church have a girls night out and get a copy of the 365 Revolutionary Love in each of their hands with accountability partner to keep it up. Meanwhile, I got my own accountability partner to help me with my own spiritual walk (literally, as I get back to exercising daily and devotion)
    A lot of time lately I have “given my joy” away I pray that I will keep my eyes on Him the author and perfecter of my faith.

  3. Deena, That is so great! I love the “imperfect progress” you as making (as Lysa TerKeurst called our growth! Please let me know if I can help as I can get you multiple copies for a discount (and sign them too if you like :)

  4. Sonja Bailey says:

    OH MY I am dealing with several different life issues, not related…but are they taking a toll on me…or am I letting them pull me down??? Thank you, as I am complaining about people taking away my JOY or causing days that I do not feel my JOY here I realize…I can make the choice to have JOY… I am 60, a widow and some days I just want to be loved and appreciated…remembered… Most days I am alone or expected to be some where…rarely am I asked to go any where… hmmm sounds like I need to take control back of my life… It may cause a rocky ride, but hopefully it will have a better destination…
    I have 2 grown daughters, one a Believer, one not there yet…three beautiful grand daughters that I want to see grow up in Gods Blessing …2 grand sons that I pray will make good choices… In this not perfect world, it is scary…
    I am a Believer, and I see myself falling short more often,,,so to hope for Gods ways for my grand children will take a bit of work… First I need to get myself in a better place… I pray to be blessed with the reminders I need , so I can be helpful to my family…not what seems to be a crankkkkkky old lady in their lives…

    • I love your honesty, Sonja! We all seem “cranky” at times no matter what our age! Each season has it own trials whether it was when your kiddos were in diapers or now watching them parent.

      You can do it, one positive word of thankfulness at a time friend!

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