Saturday, February 17, 2007

God's Joy is Strength

I'm in the process of seeking God for more joy in my life. Therefore, I want to share an excerpt from "God's Words of Life" that was published in 1997 by Zondervan. This particular excerpt is by Claire Cloninger, a devotional thought on Joy. It spoke volumes to me this morning and I thought it might mean something to you, too.

I used to be a little baffled by Nehemiah 8:10: "For the joy of the Lord is your strength." To me, that verse never made much sense, because joy didn't seem to be all that strong a quality. I thought it would have made more sense if it had said, "The strength of the Lord is your joy."

But the longer I live, the more I realize that the ability to find joy in life really is a tremendous strength. The people who can laugh are the strong ones. The people that can throw their heads back and delight in the joy of the moment are going to live a lot longer than those of us who are stressed and pushed and taking ourselves terribly seriously.


Children really are good at open-hearted, spontaneous joy. They know it intuitively. That's why they use it lavishly in the present moment. They don't put it in a savings account for a rainy day. They don't put a hold or a lid on it. They spend it with abandon. They practice it at every small occasion. That's why they are such pros at getting it right!

Do you need more joy in your life? Do you need to laugh more? I do.

Even as adults, we are still "children" of God. Life is a gift from Him and He wants us to live joyfully in Him. Sometimes I catch myself allowing responsibility, tasks and hurtful experiences to steal my joy.

Who likes to give someone a gift, watch them unwrap it, and frown at what they received? Every morning when we rise, we are unwrapping the gift of life that God gave us. Are you going to unwrap your gift with a frown of dissatisfaction, or are you going to smile with thanksgiving and joy?


5 comments:

  1. Oh Jenn, thank you so much. This was wonderful. We're so trained to look for the big things, yet it's the little things in life that give us the most joy. A baby's laugh, a really goooood piece of chocolate, finding out the curtain rods you're buying are 50% off instead of 20%.

    We never know what each new day will hold. I'm gonna choose to welcome them with open arms.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jenn,
    I love having joy. Love it. I hope I can have it at all times. It was one of the first things I noticed when I really starting walking with God.
    The pure joy of life.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great point, Jennifer. I love how you described each new day as opening a gift. What a great attitude! I'll remember that.

    Missy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good thoughts, Jennifer, I believe we could all do with being more childlike a lot of the time...
    Abby

    ReplyDelete
  5. I choose joy and laughter. God please bless us with this wonderful gift.
    Angie

    ReplyDelete