I hung up the phone laughing; I could not contain myself. I just spent 40 minutes listening to a dear friend share with me her new found Joy in the Lord. She just completed the Bible study, “Forever Changed”, and she is. And she could not stop laughing at what God has done in her life! Every other phrase was interrupted with spontaneous uncontainable joyful laughter! All I could do was listen and smile. Joy is contagious. Mother Theresa said, “Joy is the net by which we catch souls”, and she caught mine.
Rejoice – re Joy, re joying all the time, Joy over and over.
We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord at all times. That may seem difficult and almost impossible. It bids me ask: can Joy and sadness exist in a woman’s heart at the same time? I think so. I have great Joy that my son and daughter in law are serving Him in a hard place in the Middle East. But at the same time, I miss them both. Their obedience outweighs my sadness. I focus on their obedience and not my loss of their company.
But what about fear? Can fear and Joy coexist in a human heart? I think so. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary visit the tomb on Sunday morning. Not only do they find it empty, but they also find a fiery looking angel hanging out on the stone! The angel is terrifying, but Mary and Mary are still able to understand his message, “He is not here, He is risen!” What happens next is my point. “So the woman hurried away, afraid, yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” Matt. 28:4 (NIV). Joy overrides fear. They did not hesitate, even in their fear. They immediately obeyed, not stopping to over think the situation. Overthinking will stop you dead in your tracks.
Joy compels us to move forward. Perhaps you’ve had a lapse in your eating, or you walked away from a commitment, or perhaps circumstances became difficult at no fault of your own? What do we do now? We move forward in Joy! We remember His great and precious promises: the promise of heaven. One day we will be loosed from these mortal bodies and be with Him, and be like Him! And the promise of His indwelling. He abides with us and in us. I don’t have to go anywhere to pray. He is always listening to my thoughts. And the promise of His company. There is no place where God is not.
My friend and author Grace Fox says, “Joy is both a promise and a command: We experience Joy because God reigns, and because He reigns, we rejoice. ”
Joy compels, let’s move forward.
Vicki is the First Place 4 Health National Director, an American Council on Exercise, Certified Fitness Instructor, Certified Life Coach, and the Wellness Coordinator for her church in Edisto Beach, SC. Vicki is the author of Don’t Quit Get Fit and Wellness Journey of a Lifetime. She has led a successful First Place 4 Health ministry in her church for twenty years.