JOLT! - God's Jolt of Joy
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -- Romans 15:13 CSB
My father enjoyed getting up early and making my mom coffee. He knew exactly the way she liked it, black with one “level” spoon of sugar. She always made sure to tell him, “One level spoon of sugar”. Any more, I suppose, would just be too much. Any less, too little. I think making coffee for my mom brought my father boundless joy. He was a man of joy, although he suffered a lot of sorrow. I wish I could have understood my dad’s true unhappiness while he was here so I would have been able to love him better, but the one thing I do remember was he always had a smile on his lips and a joke to tell. I think this was his way of sharing joy with others while he quietly ached. I feel a lot of his joy in me. I feel a smile on my lips as often as I can. I feel jovial often, and laugh a lot. Being a daughter of a man that made people laugh gave me a bit of a successor type quality in carrying on the tradition of laughter within my family and in my life. This is how I show joy, but my joy truly comes from my Heavenly Father, not from anything on this earth.
Just as I am an heir to my earthly father, I am even more, an heir to Christ (Galatians 4:1-7). And because God is the truest form of joy, I am to follow in His footsteps and depict that joy. Romans 15:13 shares the news of the Holy Spirit and how His power will fill us with joy. We have this power available to us every minute of every day because we are heirs to Christ. Therefore, we have joy available to us in equal amounts if it is what we choose to look for and believe in.
A friend of mine was just diagnosed with cancer and reached out to me to meet and to talk, and to cry. As she shared with me her fears, she relayed a story of how she picked up her skis this week and headed to the mountain. There really is not a lot of snow right now, but she was determined to go anyway. As she shooshed down the slope, the sun came out and the air cleared. She could see all the snow-covered trees, feel the warmth on her face, and a joy came over her. She actually used the word “joy”. She revealed she had a renewed faith in God and how He would be in control of her diagnosis. This joy seized all the fear she had been feeling and she now grasped how she would be able to manage her current circumstance.
When we choose to look for the joy in the context of our situations, and choose to draw near to God and His Holy Spirit, we are able to rest in Him. Joy, then, begins to simmer and fizz, bubbling up in our lives, taking control and influencing our feelings, fears, and uncertainties. This is where joy will overflow into all areas of our lives and into others’ lives as they watch us navigate life. God has the ability to enlarge your capacity for joy if you ask Him.
He loves us so much! He desires our life to be filled with the joy we can have through His Holy Spirit. God receives His own jolt of joy every time He looks at us. When He looks at us, He sees the one for whom He gave everything. You were chosen perfectly for His joy. You are the joy that was set apart before Jesus. God wants you to know this, He wants you to know His view on your life and how much joy you bring Him.
Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens, and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after so you always know how this story ends[i]
The joy of life through God’s jolt is here for you now, while your story is being written, while you are struggling, laughing, playing, living, crying, trying.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the joy we can receive through the Holy Spirit is crucial to a Christian’s life and the Kingdom of God. In Romans 14:17 he says, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (CSB). This is where we see joy comes. This is where we have eternal joy, gratefulness, and confidence in God’s sovereign power in our lives. This is why we can have joy in all circumstances because God is the jolt of joy we need. As Christians we have the One who is Joy living in us and this is why we can experience a life of joy. This amazing joy is what will help us endure any situation or circumstance we will ever face. It is because the joy of God is eternal and can never be defeated. We can be assured we will have joy in each and every incident or situation we face.
A Prayer for the Day
Lord, I thank You for Your unlimited joy. I thank You for a joy I can only find by having You enter into my heart and change my life. I pray You, the God of hope, will fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope. Because of You, Lord, I can live a life full of joy despite my circumstances and can overcome with an attitude of joy unlike any other. -Amen
Think of an area of your life in which you would like to have joy and ask the Holy Spirit to enter into your life and fill it with His joy. For the next few weeks journal about how joy has entered your life in this area and thank God for His blessing.
[i] Ann Voskamp, as posted by Chelsea Patterson, “Dear You…A Letter for All of the Hard Days,” Joy Indestructible (blog),September 30, 2014, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/joyindestructible/2014/09/30/dear-you-a-letter-for-the-hard-days/.