Joy (Part One)
What is the source of true joy? How do we lose our joy? How do we find joy again?
Behind every question is a premise. As Christ-followers, we must think carefully about the underlying premises of our questions. Let’s explore three questions regarding Joy.
1. What is the source of true joy?
Reader, can you recognize the premise?
What is a thing, an experience or emotion.
A better question is, "WHO is the source of true joy?"
2. How do we lose our joy?
Reader, can you recognize the premise(s)?
One premise arises from the first question (What is the source of true joy?).
The second premise is located in the word our. OUR implies ownership (mine). It's my joy. I own it. It belongs to me.
However, when we ground the first question's premise in scripture, it corrects our thinking from what to who. Then, the second question comes becomes clearer... We realize, it's not our joy! It's not my joy! Joy is a person!
When we recognize the source of joy is a who and not a what, we can properly diagnose the problem of losing joy.
Therefore, when you struggle with losing joy, it's not like losing your car keys. Joy isn't a thing. Joy is a person. You don't own joy. Someone else owns joy. That someone else is Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives you HIS joy!
3. How do we find joy again?
Reader, do you see where we'er headed? I'll leave you to work it out for yourself.
Are you experiencing the absence of joy? Ask the right questions! Don't go running around the temporal world looking for joy like lost car keys! You will not find it. Run to Christ because you ALWAYS know where to find Him. He is the source and owner of ALL joy. He gives it to those who trust him.
In Part 2, we'll discuss what to do when you run back to the real owner of joy (Jesus Christ).
Reflection and meditation below:
"the joy of the Lord is your strength." - Nehemiah 8:10
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." - Romans 15:13
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." - Psalm 16:11
"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (lacking nothing, complete)." - John 15:10-11
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Dr.Jim Wilder is among the many Neuro-theoligians who define JOY as the high energy emotional response to someone being overwhelmed by the opportunity to be with me. It is always RELATIONAL... It is registered in the highest level of brain activity behind the right orbital prefrontal cortex. and unless we can develop a pathway from the lower level brain activity of the big six negative emotions...we will operate out of fear as an alternative...But here's what I find just amazing. The God who is the source of life, came to us to be in relationship with us, and the name EMMANUAL...God with us. God is not a god who we have to coddle and cajole in order toi be in His precense, He is constantly working to reveal himself to us, and LONGS to be in our precense. Go figure.
Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Lance.. and here's a new book for those looking to further explore this shalom/wholeness emotion of joy... https://a.co/d/dKF51rv