My final thoughts on the Doable Journey of Joy.
So I conclude that we can definitely have joy even in trying and difficult circumstances. We can learn to open up our heart to receive the love of our heavenly Father which helps to determine our joy. We can also receive joy as we spend time in the ‘secret place’, resulting in joy within our daily life routines.
I also conclude that it’s absolutely worth the effort to protect our joy. The fact is that there are so many things that happen in our daily life to steal our precious joy. We often find ourselves in challenging situations, some of which are totally unexpected and beyond our control and throw us into a downward spin. We experience fear, despair, frustration and often times deep sadness. All the more reason in my humble opinion to protect our joy!
To protect my joy I need to follow divine instruction and Biblical principles. I confess that sometimes I tell myself a story that isn’t even true! I need to base my thoughts on what is true, get myself together, gather my frantic thoughts and walk into the hope and future that God has for me. When I am directed by God it’s also my protection, which in turn protects my joy and thankfully my peace too.
What is God saying to me – “follow My divine guidance and instruction and MY Biblical principles.”
Recently, I became frantic about an incident that occurred, and whilst in an anxious state of mind looking for something, I found some notes which said, “First, don’t panic” I took that to be divine guidance and instruction I therefore, began to calmly (well less frantic at least) sort out the situation and sure enough it was resolved with an even better result than anticipated!
What we might call coincidence I call favour. The Bible says, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear, I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I am not letting go.” (Isaiah 41:10, 13 MSG) That’s a Biblical principle and divine instruction all rolled into one!
Now forgive me, I know it’s not Christmas but allow me to delve into the Christmas story to show you something I have learnt.
Baby Jesus was a bundle of joy, not just to Mary and Joseph but to the world which was aptly described in the carol ‘Joy to the World’. However, one nasty, despicable person did not think the same, he was called Herod. He represents individuals or issues that have the potential to assassinate our joy. God didn’t tell Joseph or the Magi (wise men) to destroy Herod, He told them to put distance between them. We may well need to handle our Herod’s in the same way.
He didn’t say, “Kill him” nor did He say, “Let him kill you”. Just move and set some healthy boundaries. We do not have to be held hostage in any way by difficult issues or be subjected to the destructive behaviour of others we face from time to time.
I guess that we really are responsible for being good stewards of our own emotional well-being. We need wisdom, however to seek wisdom is only half of the package, following it is most important!
We can protect our joy, I personally think it’s doable. So what did Mary and Joseph do? They escaped to Egypt. What did the Magi do? They chose a different route home! All under the influence of divine guidance and instruction which inevitably protected their ‘Joy’.
Egypt; could this represent a place of refuge, refuelling and renewal. A place perhaps we can escape to as Mary and Joseph did, so that our joy is protected and until ‘things’ settle down. We can give ourselves permission you know to escape for a little while and have some down time, thinking time or even stop thinking and rest our mind.
I know that this season in our world has been challenging for so many of us but I also can see it as a positive time for this fast paced world we live in to have some down time, before it starts to rev up again at least.
Protect your joy.
When Nehemiah told the people that, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” He began by saying, “Do not sorrow.” And then later in the same chapter of the book of Nehemiah, chapter 8 verse 12, all the people went their way to eat and drink (in other words do normal life) and rejoice greatly because they understood the words of the Lord that were declared to them. Remember that by following divine guidance, and instruction, plus Biblical principles we can protect our joy. It is our strength.
Wise men (Magi) found Joy in Jesus, so can we! He changes our emotional condition in His wonderful presence, where we can receive His love and experience joy unspeakable. It’s so worth protecting!
Keep safe and alert.
His love & mine,
Pastor Lydia x