Now you may well think, Pastor Lydia, why are you writing a blog about JOY?  How can we possibly have such an emotion in the times we are experiencing and living through right now!  Let me explain.

 Joy is my ‘ONE WORD’ for the year.  At the beginning of this year I actually didn’t think it was such a challenging word, but believe me it’s the most challenging word I have felt led to choose so far!  Especially in the light of the unexpected events of 2020!  However, I might add that life has a way of throwing us off course, an odd ball, a curve in our otherwise straight path so to speak; don’t you think?

To keep joyful or to be full of joy (‘the fullness of Joy’) to have strength in joy; I can’t deny it, it’s all very challenging!

We live in a world with day-to-day duties.  Days that can be monotonous, repetitive and sometimes dull, with wearisome routines and difficult people and now lock-down.  Isolation, working from home for some of us and fear for others having to continue to go to work and be on the front line. Living and working in a world wearing literal masks and gowns, visors and gloves, even to go out shopping or going on a walk wearing gloves and a mask, and so many other challenges!

I journaled at the beginning of the year that things don’t change easily and we have to work hard to make changes!  However, that was before changes came – that were forced upon us – to adjust and change how we do life.  We had no choice whether or not we needed or wanted to change it came regardless!

Well, that’s all the negative stuff out of the way…

JOY IS A DOABLE EMOTION, in the midst of all the above I CAN HAVE JOY!

A joy that produces something deep inside of me despite all of the above and more ‘things’ I haven’t even dared to mention in the above!

JOY IN THE SECRET PLACE – true joy means nurturing a deep longing for God.  The more time we spend in the secret place, the more we gain great revelations of God’s character, love, and of heaven itself.

The more joy we have in the secret place the more joy we will have in our daily life routines.

Many of us, and rightly so, are quoting from the most appropriate of Psalms in this season of uncertainty with all its doubt, insecurity and vagueness about the present and the future!  Yes, you guessed it, Psalm 91.  Here is verse 1, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” 

In the presence of the Lord is FULLNESS of Joy, the secret place provides us with a different perspective that sets the tone for everything else in our lives.  Time spent in the secret place, in other words, begins to cure our hearts of fear, especially the paralyzing fear of losing people or things precious to us.  According to our wonderful Psalm 91 the secret place makes us fearless.

So then when fear overwhelms your life, allow the secret place to work as a shut-off valve, take refuge in God’s presence and ask Him to reveal the endless goodness of heaven come down to earth, ‘as it is in heaven…’

Remember the promises of His Word, He has written all our days in His Book and knows every little thing and person we’ve ever loved.

Also, when we understand in our hearts that this place here on earth is ultimately not our permanent home, fear loses its strangling grip on us. Heaven is my home!

We can join with Nehemiah who said those well-loved and quoted words in chapter 8 of his book, “The joy of the Lord is our strength!”

The help we need begins with God and everything that makes heaven real, lives in us because God the Holy Spirit lives in us.  Go to God first in the secret place let Him renew your heart and spirit today giving you fresh revelation and know that His presence lives within you and where He is, joy and power is found.

Be filled with Joy

As you walk in His light, He will be the answer to earth’s evil.  Stay strong and I am convinced we will see days of His miracles.  Let nothing disturb your JOY today, not even the difficulties the enemy scatters along your path.  He is the All-Sufficient One who offers us wisdom, favour, strength, peace and JOY, so submit every moment to Him.  Stay focused on Him and “Let joy be your continual feast.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (TPT)

His love & mine,

Pastor Lydia x

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