Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Joy

Elusive and rare to some, misunderstood and untouched by others, joy is sought by all.

 

More than a moment's delight, joy would full-fill. Not a taste but a fountain, or a river, everlasting, and always supplying. Joy is that thing that the world sings for day after day, "but I still haven't found what I'm looking for...." And they won't. They can't. All that the world supplies: desire, and dream, and distraction, can never fill your cup. As much as drinking a cup full of air would quench your thirst, the world's offer can fill your soul. Yet, this world does contain a place for joy. You.

 

Joy is like salt. You can find it in most everything, and nothing seems to taste quite right without it, and yet we often forget to stop and realize its there. You know why your life tastes so bland, and empty? It's because you have no joy. It’s tasteless because your missing the ingredient that makes it all en'joy'able.

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So then how can we find elusive joy? We've all met oblivious people, just gitty in spirit no matter what the circumstances, just full of a positively delightful attitude. It’s almost as though they were lying to themselves. Is that joy? Is it the emotional narcotic that blinds us from the grim realities of this black-hearted world? Joy is no narcotic or hallucinogen. Joy is the heart's response to good. Joy is found in good. Where there is no good, there can be no joy. When there is good, joy is the rejoicing that must respond to that good. Good happens on purpose, and so does joy.

 

When a wedding is good, there is joy. When the birth is good, there is joy. When the outcome is good, there is joy. When a life is saved, or spared, there is joy. When a gift is given, the giver has joy, because of the good in giving. When hope is fulfilled there is great joy. When a field yields good, in all aspects of life, the harvest of that field brings joy. Do you seek joy in life? Do good. For he who seeks to do good will never lack the reaping of joy.

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It was Christ, who "...for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame..." doing good in spite of temporal cost. That good will never end its bursting of joy: for the greater the good, the greater the joy.

 

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” – Psalms 16:11

 

There is no joy without the travail. Joy is the climax required by its opposite. If there were no risk of sorrow, there could be no joy. If there were no effort and cost required, what then is the reward? What rejoicing does the average demand? What victory is there without foe?

 

Therefore, travail tonight, anguishing labourer, and bring forth your righteous joy in the morning. Sweat, and toil and plow, children of men, for your fields must burst forth with new wine to rejoice thine heart in the harvest. What is an ache? What is a grief? What is crying of toil as you, a small vessel in a great tempest fight the dark bottomless depths of the storm? My friend, it must be done, else all is lost! We fight till dawn against this raging storm, and rise in the morning to nothing but victory over it! So toil friend, and give yourself this night, for just a few short moments from now, joy shall come in the morning.

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“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” - 3 John 3:4

 

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” – Psalm 126:5-6

 

monster face (Ella likes to make us laugh with her new “Monster Face”… and it works.)

 

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2 comments:

  1. Amen! So true, and very encouraging :).

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  2. your photos are fabulous! your children are beautiful!!! I really enjoy your blog! I grew up with 5 brothers and 1 sister, so 7 kids also,but just the opposite with 5 boys and then 2 girls . I was the YOUNGEST! keep posting, I LOVE IT!
    tara

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