Authentic Joy isn’t the absence of difficulty and pain. It is the presence of Jesus walking with us through it all. Jesus is the example. With Joy He went to the cross. Where just prior, He was pleading with the Father in agony for what HE was about to do. He submitted. And with JOY He went. With Joy for the sake of saving souls. Because He went with Joy into the most horrific circumstances, because of His sacrificial love, I will never endure the pain my Savior went through. And I have no greater joy than to hear that my children will walk in the truth.
Speaking on behalf of this season of my life. Homemaker and motherhood. This is why, for me in my calling as a wife, homemaker, busy at home, I have JOY in what I do everyday. In being a wife, a home schooling mom and discipling my children. People ask. I want others to know the scope of it. What joy is to me. Some days are really hard. And in that same day, beauty. Amazing thing about His amazing grace, through everyday, His grace shines forth beauty!
How could I not have joy seeing God at work for His Kingdom? And yet when I awake confessing how incapable I am, desiring Him to resurrect me again to another day, HE DOES! To experience this day after day – Oh the JOY of the LORD is my strength! HE delights in the desires of our hearts. When the deepest longing of my heart is for salvation of my children’s souls, I get to see His kingdom purposes at work before my eyes. I get to experience God moments every single day. I die to myself over and over (and yes, dying is painful), I am resurrected (resurrection is glorious) again and again, and He does more than I could ever imagine. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us. After all “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20
As we set our hearts and minds fixed on His kingdom purpose, there is nothing more beautiful to be living for. So dying to self, is purely being resurrected to truly living for eternity. “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb. 12:2-3
As I reflect on this verse in the role God has placed me I can , “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Through the trials, the joy of knowing sovereign God is working, my faith is tested big time, and my faith has increased abundantly more than I would have ever imagined , seeing miracles over and over in hearts, minds and souls. And we press on for the glory of the Mighty King who we will live with forever all because of HIS JOY in giving everything so that I might gain everything – Christ JESUS my Lord. Amen!