03 May I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy
In keeping with the theme of self-care and rest this month, I wanted to talk a little bit about joy. It’s one thing to practice self-care and resting, but it’s an entirely different thing to be able to do it while having joy.
Have you heard people speak about joy and happiness, but you noticed that they made a clear distinction between the two? Did you immediately know what they meant? Or are you like me and wondered to yourself, ‘Are these those two terms ‘really’ fundamentally different?’
You see, I grew up in a very traditional Baptist church and I often heard elders say, ‘I don’t need happiness, because I have true joy!’
When they would say it, they looked like warriors that had just won a war; confident, unbroken, steadfast and strong!
Well, I’m older now and I need to know what this really means. What kind of joy gives you that kind of strength? What kind of joy leaves you confident, unbroken, steadfast and strong?
So, in my mission to figure this out, I decided to define the terms.
Merriam-Webster defines happiness as ‘a state of well-being and contentment or JOY’ and joy is defined as ‘a state of happiness or felicity’. Essentially, the two are considered synonyms. That didn’t help me!
So then, I thought to myself, let me consult the Word. It is living and powerful, right?
Well, one of the most popular places the term joy is found is in James 1:2, where the Scripture says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
We know that having “trials of various kinds” will not lead to happiness, but here we are told that it is the reason for joy.
Another place in Scripture that emphasizes joy is the entire book of Philippians. Paul professed his joy in 1:3-6. He said, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy……….”
Paul wrote this book from prison. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that prison is ever a joyful or happy position to be in.
What this revealed to me is that this ‘joy’ is an internal thing and to have it something must be placed in our hearts, so that we can carry it with us everywhere, in every season and every situation.
The author Rick Warren defines joy as “the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”
As women, we are constantly encouraged to take a break or practice self-care. #Self-care has even become a trending subject online. But what’s not discussed, are the curve-balls thrown at us (mean people, unfairness, sickness, death, jobs, kids, divorce….) and their ability to take priority over our #self-care. Well, if you’re able to pull away for self-care amid your curveballs, great! We support that! But, if you are not, we still want you to be able to experience ‘true joy’. The kind that will help you win the wars and leave you confident, unbroken, steadfast and strong!
Sis, I encourage you to consistently talk to and fellowship with your Father. When we have an intimate fellowship with Him, we can have ‘true joy’ no matter where we are or what is happening to us.
My prayer for you is this:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13