Joy Unspeakable

Ever have those days when it seems like you are living Murphy’s Law: Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong? Yes, such have been my days since MONDAY! But, allow me to say:

I still have joy

I still have joy 

After all I’ve been through

I still have joy

I am learning to not allow anything or anyone steal my joy. I am learning to protect it at all costs. Because, “this joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me, and the world can’t take it away.”

I recall a time not too long ago when I could not smile for the life of me, in good or bad. I allowed my circumstances to rule me and steal my joy

From where do we receive our joy? According to the Bible, our hope and joy comes from Christ:

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing; Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20) For ye are our glory and joy.

Isaiah 61:10  I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

1 Peter 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

3 John 1:4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Joy… This is how we smile when the world around us seems to crash and crumble. This is how we manage to not crumble along with it. Better yet, when we watch everything, and everyone that we love fall away, it is joy that helps us continue to stand firm and holds us up. It is joy that keeps the smile on our faces… Not the fake smile that we plaster on for others to see, when we don’t want them to ask, “What’s wrong?” But a genuine smile, than emanates from within. This is the promise of our Father:

Psalm 126:5  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Jeremiah 31:13  Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

I smile, even though I’m hurt, see I smile

I know God is working so I smile

Even though I’ve been here for a while

I smile, Smile

It’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down

Sure would hate to see you give up now

You look so much better when you smile, so smile

– Kirk Franklin, I Smile

 In a day and age where there are so many that are struggling just to stay afloat, I have to wonder, Where has all the joy gone? When I first moved to Washington State I was told that this was one of the “saddest states,” and that they used one of the “highest amounts of antidepressants in the nation.” Now, this was true, when I moved here, maybe it was the legalization of marijuana, the increase of opioids – I don’t know? However, Washington is in the top 20 states for health and well-being, as opposed to sadness. Isn’t that something? I was surprised! With the amount of suicides, overdoses, self-harm from youth to elder adults, veterans and soldiers, I am surprised! Still, I wonder how the results are calculated?
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I know so many people on that take pills for this and that. I am not knocking it by any means. This can be a depressing place, it rains probably 9 months out of the year. It is gray here. The sun is a rare sight. I happen to find the greenery absolutely beautifully. Having moved from the Sunshine State, the weather doesn’t depress me, but I can see how how it can be depressing. I truly love it here…
I realize that we must not only protect our joy with everything that is within us, but to have joy is not innate. It truly takes Christ to have joy. Happiness is fleeting. Pleasures in life can give us temporary happiness – but that happiness does not last for very long. We are often left unfulfilled, and longing for more. What we unknowingly seek is that joy unspeakable, that only He can provide. Allow me to say, to be able to feel content, and smile, and just feel joy after my days that were anything but good, tells me that He has given me that wonderful gift from Galatians 5:22, which I so desperately need.  Because, the joy of the Lord is (also) our strength.

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