A month ago I attended a ladies event where Susan Lawrence was the speaker and she spoke on Joy, I was thrilled. Here are a few words I captured in my notes from her presentation.
How often do you allow one or more of these things to steal your Joy?
- Your past
- Negative self-talk
- Pressure from others
- Measuring up to faith
- Habits everyday
- To do lists
- Addictions (these are things you crave like Starbucks, too much exercise, your special sports team) anything that pulls you away from your relationship with God.
Earlier this year I was not experiencing joy because I was allowing the above mentioned plus other stuff to creep into my thoughts and yes, it was stealing my joy, I was actually feeling nothing. I had fooled myself thinking after 30 plus years of being a Christian, I would not have to work at it, that it would just come naturally, but I was wrong, wrong, so wrong. Joy is intentional just like following Christ, I had to work at it, keep it in front of me, be intentional about it, I needed the Holy Spirit to guide me, I had forgotten all of this because I wanted it to come naturally. Luckily before I got too deep into this self-destruction, I was lead to a book written by Kay Warren called “Choose Joy” Because Happiness isn’t enough. I loved this book, an easy read, so insightful. Kay is so transparent, she knows what it is like to lose your Joy, yes even Kay Warren, Rick Warren’s wife. A few months after reading the book, I was lead to the ladies retreat where Susan Lawrence was the speaker and she was talking about “Joy.” I was thrilled, God answers prayers.
Susan mentioned the difference between Joy & Happiness. Happiness is short term, it's temporary, it's fleeting, it depends upon your circumstances. Joy is more consistent, it is given to us by God, God wants us to be filled with Joy. I know many of these things aren’t new to many of you, they really weren’t new to me either, but I needed to be reminded to be “intentional,” I needed a Jesus stirring in my heart.
I love to hear the word Joy, it makes me smile and puts an extra beat into my heart and my step.
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again “rejoice.”