Building a Lasting Foundation on Joy
By Annetta Dellinger
How is your level of JOY? Overflowing? Dried up? Or, somewhere in between?
In the world’s mind, JOY is a feeling, a good giggle, a sense of happiness. For some people happiness only happens when their happenings happen to happen the way they happen to want them to happen! Happiness, in other words, is an emotion that is contingent upon everything going well, or a life with no problems. ~ Jill Brisco
The last item on the “to do” list was to stop at the doctor’s office to have my husband’s blood checked. The results were in the doctor’s hand as he said, “Go straight to the hospital”. Scared about the seriousness of this we used those eight miles to pray that John would be okay and that we could leave a day later for our trip. (We were sure God had a sense of humor when He heard the word vacation.) Twenty-seven days later, along with tests, scopes, blood transfusions, and IV’s, a team of doctors discovered John had a very rare blood disorder. No vacation. Our happiness took a nosedive.
What can you expect to experience when life turns upside down, when you get nothing you want and everything you don’t want such as illness, lose a job, or even a possible terminal diagnosis? Where can you get survival strength that will sustain you in spite of crisis? In JOY, real JOY, “for the JOY of the Lord, (His presence) is your strength”. Nehemiah 8:10.
JOY is more than happiness. The real JOY we can expect as Christians is deeper than the emotions of happiness. JOY is a gift of God’s grace and a fruit of the Spirit. Authentic JOY is permanent! Real JOY comes only from Jesus Christ! “As the Father has loved me so I have loved you…I have told you this so that my JOY may be in you and your JOY may be complete”. John 9,11. Jesus is the only Source to building a lasting foundation on JOY!
People often compare JOY and happiness but they are from two totally different sources. The word happy comes from the root word, hap or luck, which is temporary. You’ll be happy if the bills are paid, the car works, when the scales shows that you finally lost weight after denying yourself the frozen chocolate bars hid in the freezer. The world’s kind of happiness placed in people, places, and things are short lived. Relationships change. Circumstances change. However, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Hebrews 13:8. This gives me security and confidence, despite what happens. How about you?
The Bible, your JOY manual, overflows with God’s faithfulness which is a bridge to your life right now. His Word is filled with stories of God’s faithfulness as you read about lives that are good, bad, sorrowful, and challenging. Jesus Christ is your JOY-filled refuge, shield, protector, solid rock and Savior, who forgives you and wraps you in His comforting arms, regardless! That gives you hope to never give up. To daily abound in hope may not be easy until you factor in God’s grace.
My life changed drastically when John’s illness was discovered. Treatments continue today. I admit that my emotions ran rampant but at the same time I felt an incredible peace within me which was the real JOY of being in God’s presence. That had nothing to do with happiness. I’m passionate about scattering JOY because I’ve learned, “Don’t base your life on circumstances but on real JOY!”
Lost your JOY? If you happen to be a Christian that is wondering where your JOY in life has gone, what has changed? Could you need to be reattached to the Vine, Jesus the God of JOY? Keeping him the center of your focus, trusting and submitting to his guidance, will keep the reservoir of real JOY flowing like an artesian well. Because of that you can’t help but be God’s JOY Booster!
How is your JOY level now? Overflowing? Dried up? Or somewhere in between?
Annetta Dellinger, Author, Speaker, and a Joyologist known as The JOY Lady has published 31 books and has spoken for 35 years. JOY-filled and contagious, her passion is encouraging, educating and equipping women to find hope, in spite of circumstances, from the real Source of JOY, Jesus Christ. www.annettadellinger.com, [email protected]