When I was a little girl I went to church every Sunday. Sitting in our Sunday school room complete with little wooden chairs, flannel graph story boards, and the air smelling like cookies and juice; we would sing a catchy song that went like this; " I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart...and if the devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack...." I know if you read those words and you remember that song, you just dated yourself like I did! As a grown woman the theology of this catchy ditty has just not been able to see me through the days of raising children, transition, hardships, and the out-right yuck, that we all experience in real life. So I have sought more...
Joy, the dictionary defines joy as great delight caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; to have pleasure; to have delight in something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.
This morning I was pondering this thing called joy. Truthfully it has been at times illusive and something that I have sought. I have observed it in lives and faces countless times walking on foreign soil. With people who have little to nothing in possessions. I have experienced joy in it’s purest form as I have worshiped with Asian believers in a church that was a tarp stretched over bamboo poles. I have tasted it as I ate the finest meal I have ever eaten in a home in
Burma, with believers, on a dirt
floor. These experiences have begged the question of me, “what is this kind of
This kind of joy is not earthbound; it is of a higher plane. I have become convinced that what my joy is tied to is what I am abiding in. If there is a circumstance or person that can rob my joy, then my joy is earthbound. David, in the Psalms, tells us that in the Lord’s presence is fullness of joy and that He makes us joyful with gladness in His presence. Joy is fruit that is produced in us as we live in and walk with the Spirit of God.
I would change the definition above only slightly to read;
Joy: Great delight caused by Someone fully good and fully satisfying; having pleasure in Someone who is greatly valued and worshiped above all.
My joy is to be tied to His presence and is a gift from Him that I must fight for. As we walk through our dailies authentic joy is constantly threatened.
I found the following Fifteen Tactics For Joy written by John Piper.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
How shall we fight for joy?
1. Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.
2. Realize that joy must be fought for relentlessly.
3. Resolve to attack all known sin in your life.
4. Learn the secret of gutsy guilt — how to fight like a justified sinner.
5. Realize that the battle is primarily a fight to see God for who he is.
6. Meditate on the Word of God day and night.
7. Pray earnestly and continually for open heart-eyes and an inclination for God.
8. Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself.
9. Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight.
1. Be patient in the night of God’s seeming absence.
1. Get the rest, exercise, and proper diet that your body was designed by God to have.
1. Make a proper use of God’s revelation in nature.
1. Read great books about God and biographies of great saints.
1. Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (witness and mercy).
1. Get a global vision for the cause of Christ and pour yourself out for the unreached.
Great words for walking this thing out called life and great words to learn how to fight for this non-earthbound thing called JOY!
Psalm 16:11, Psalm 21:6,