Ever lost your joy or felt like running away from your life?
After a stressful few months, I was anticipating a break and a fresh beginning in the quest for my one word: joy. But instead I limped into the new year needing joy more than ever. So began my search for #FindingJoy.
Now a year later, God has revealed joy in so many unexpected places. Joy has been found in:
- Assessing habit don’ts and do’s to see joy
- Learning joy blooms from trust in God
- Letting go of our will
- Submitting to His will with joyful self-control
- Traveling down unknown paths
- Running our life race
- Understanding Jesus is the source of our Joy
- Understanding perspective in sharing our joy
- Being filled with joy from within
- Clarifying the difference between joy and happy
- Choosing it, even in the most difficult circumstances
- Sharing a joyful perspective on our parenting mission, by being a guardrail , a teacher, knowing when to bend or stand firm , and being a present presence (even the most challenging moments.)
As I explored, learned, and listened, I found a simple truth. The more we follow and pay attention to what God shows us along the journey, the more we build a foundation of joy. Reviewing these joyful God lessons this year has been humbling. But even more importantly, it cemented my belief that true joy is found only in Him.
Joy stems from God’s love and grace and pours into us when we choose to seek and see it.
It doesn’t matter what happens to us in this life: wealth, health, happiness, success, none of it matters without Jesus. Our futures are secure due to His sacrifice covering our sin. It’s not about anything we’ve done or will do, it’s all about what Jesus did.
Our joy is found in Jesus-it’s still all about Him.
This year of #FindingJoy has taught me how joy is always with me because Jesus is always with me. Maybe I felt joyless because I forgot this eternal truth. As Jesus promises us:
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:20
So, in our joyless moments, let’s remember: we can never run away from God and His love. When I went searching for joy, I realized it was always there–because He’s always there.
In moments of shame or regret, He’s there.
When we feel like no one understands, He’s there.
When we lose loved ones, He’s there.
When we’re at our wits end as a parent or caregiver, He’s there.
When long awaited plans don’t materialize, He’s there.
When everything and everyone around us is negative, He’s there.
Joy CAN be found in any moment, knowing all our moments are full of His presence.
Want to find joy? Reach out, grab it; it’s right there waiting.
It’s found in a silent prayer when stressed, worried, frustrated, scared, grieving or lonely.
It’s found in a moment of undeserved grace.
It’s found in the smile of a loved one.
It’s found in the rainbow after a storm or disappointment.
It’s found even in the unwanted moments of our life, because in all our moments, our joy-Jesus is there.
Jesus is always present. He is the cornerstone of our faith, salvation and joy. As I recently sang this song in church, it hit me. Tears streamed down my face remembering how I lost my joy and how He reminded me that all my joy is based in Him. He truly is my cornerstone; my life and joy is built on Him.
We may not always feel joyful. But in these moments, let’s remember to surrender, rest, and build our foundation on God’s deep abiding love and joy in our lives.
Our joy and His presence are always present. Let’s unwrap this beautiful gift this Christmas and in all our moments, especially the most difficult ones.
Need joy? Follow Jesus.
For additional follow up on living and following Jesus, check out these sermons as referenced in the post: It’s All About Jesus (the sermon is at 37:00 in the service) & Following Jesus-the Word made flesh.