Who doesn’t want a little joy added to this crazy year? 2020, for many reasons, has been one for the record books. However “off kilter” this year may be, it doesn’t take Jesus by surprise and DEEP BELLY JOY is still available to you. All you have to do is seek the source & in this little blog o’ mine, we will discuss how.
My goal for our ‘Ladies Who Love Christ’ is to really understand how deeply you are loved & to know that no matter what your circumstances may be, no one can steal your “Jesus joy”.
We all need more JOY in our bellies, these days, so let’s get ready to unpack the scriptures to see what The Word tells us.
First, it is so important to understand that ‘worldly happiness’ & JOY, are two totally different things. Happiness is a fleeting human emotion, here one moment and gone the next. Oftentimes, we find our happiness tied to circumstantial things. If life is going the way we plan it, we are happy. When things don’t go as planned, we suddenly find ourselves battling a variety of emotions and our happiness quickly dissipates.
Joy, on the other hand, is truly a gift of Jesus. It isn’t dependent on the circumstances taking place around us, rather, about WHO is in us. Let me make sure you’re paying attention here…. JOY is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22), this joy doesn’t come through our circumstances but through Christ, alone.
Life can be seemingly out of control & you can have this supernatural, unexplainable JOY! How amazing is this!? Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control are all fruits of the Holy Spirit… & don’t miss that JOY is tucked right there in that passage.
Romans 14:17 tells us that “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit”. We find our joy by finding Jesus.
Let me challenge you with some questions to ponder and possibly journal, if you’re into journaling:
- When you face your circumstances, are you doing it with Jesus or apart from Him?
- Are you spending time with Jesus daily and including Him in your life? However simple and mundane it may seem, we serve a Father who wants to be a part of it ALL.
- When you struggle, are you looking to Jesus to do what only He can? Remember, when we start looking around at our circumstance, rather than keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, this robs our joy and allows the enemy to work.
Here are a few things to know about JOY:
- To Find God, Is To Find JOY. When we can lay down our expectations, our hopes and our dreams & hang it all on HIM and His good & perfect will, I am certain that we will never reach a more joyful place. Not a “perfect place” but a place that is full of JOY regardless of what is taking place around us. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have hopes and dreams in life, but what it does mean is that when things don’t go as planned (and this happens a lot!) we are still ok & we can still have joy.
- Only God Can Give Us Fullness of JOY: Psalm 16:11 tells us that “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of JOY; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The world offers up weak attempts to keep us satisfied & happy but inevitably, apart from God, they all end up falling short. Nothing can do for you what spending a moment, one little moment, in God’s presence can. Spoken from experience.
- Joy Depends on Where We Choose to Place Our Focus & Waiting on The Lord: Are you waiting on The Lord? Are you patient for His timing and willing to not rush ahead? Are you diligent to keep your eyes on Him & His Word? Remember, God’s Will is revealed in His Word. If you aren’t taking the time to know His Word, it is impossible to know His will. Isaiah 40:31 tells us “ But they who wait for The Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”
Finding joy doesn’t mean finding a problem free life. The Word is full of stories of people who were hard pressed & struggles were a part of their life, yet, they knew the joy of The Lord because they had faith in Jesus & they chose to keep their eyes on Him and not their circumstances. So, practically speaking, how do you do it? Remember, I’m a ‘due diligence’ kinda girl. Tell me what to do & not all about the problem.
- Spend Time in Quiet Meditation with Jesus EACH DAY: This is time in prayer, speaking to Him, sharing your heart & also, sitting quiet before Him to let Him speak to your heart. Sometimes we get so caught up “doing” that we fail to just be still before Him.
- Open His Word EACH DAY: Spending time in God’s Word is a non negotiable in the life of a believer. When God’s will is revealed in His Word, how vital it is, that we don’t approach this flippantly rather, with insatiable hunger. The Word of God is our lifeline. Let me just share with you in full transparency, there are many times that I feel tired or like I need peace, and I will come home, plop in my comfy chair, and open the precious pages of scripture… and the deep belly inexplainable JOY of Jesus floods me. It is literally like immersing in His presence. I can’t explain it, but I can’t deny it, either.
- Don’t Allow Sin In Your Life to Quench the Holy Spirit: We serve a good God. A holy God. A loving Father. He blows me away with His goodness, but you will never experience the things of God willingly living in sin. No matter what that sin is. God can’t go against ‘Himself’ in very simple terms, so if you’re struggling, evaluate your life prayerfully for sins that may be stifling your walk with Him. These things rob us of the things of God & His goodness.
Jesus loves you. He desires to walk out life with you. He desires to make you strong and able. He desires to give you JOY, deep belly, inexplainable JOY. Don’t get so busy running that you fail to just look to Him.
Take the time for the things of God. Take time investing in the study of His Word. Don’t expect it to fall in your lap! Search for Him in the pages of scripture & study His Word hungry for Him. Spend time daily in prayer, serving others like Jesus did and in quiet time.
The JOY of The Lord is one of the most precious things you’ll ever experience in this life, a mere taste of what’s to come. Delight in Him & He will delight in you. This deep belly joy is a gift that can never be taken from you. It’s between you & Jesus and it’s beautiful.
Founder, Ladies Who Love Christ Ministries