If you've been around for a few years, and your kids grew up in the 80's or 90's you may remember the title above as lines to a song.
The ending line, no matter the verse of that song, sometimes changed from TODAY to TO STAY!
Today-I like the definition of: at this present time, the here and now.
Stay-and this one I like too: to remain in a specified state or condition.
How do you like them apples?
And there is a good verse for that 'ism'... Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
This is the word for today, and everyday...JOY...and it seems surreal, nearly impossible. If we were honest with one another, have you ever met someone who was joyful, joy filled, all the time? Does it seem fake (if you know someone)?
Maybe we should look up joy and see what God has to say about it as well as what we think of it in the natural. Remember the last post on goodness? It wasn't really about doing (although it's an aspect), but relied heavily on kindness, which came from the intrinsic side, not necessarily external.
Joy- a feeling of great pleasure or happiness. Did you catch that? It's a feeling.....whoaoooh feelings....you know how reliable those are right?
When are your feelings trustworthy? It's a natural reaction formation often from the circumstances that surround you. When you are ready to start a family, get pregnant, go thru all the labor (are you joyful during that? can you be?), but when the little bundle arrives, there is great and exceeding joy!
Or something less life changing, how about your sports team is winning by a landslide? How joyful are you? Let's take a twist on that. Your team has been behind most of the game. It's the fourth quarter (we are still currently in football season) and the two minute warning has transpired. You know the team has to make great strides to get down the field and score to win. A few plays, some great strides in yards, but out of your field goal kicker's range. You have time for one quick play before this last score attempt. Success. You gained enough yard to be on the outskirts of his kicking range. Teeth tighten and hands clench. There is this hope upon hope, but you're not sure because he has never kicked this far before. Let's just add in he is kicking against the wind! (Why not?) ......And it's good! The players, coaches, fans, announcers, and anyone else available is screaming, shouting, jumping, dancing, and high- fiving (my word) all around (unless you are on the losing team)!
Can you say joy????
Galatians scripture chapter 5 verse 22-23 TPT :
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Joy that word in Greek is Chara: joy, delight, a source of joy. There's more to it if you want to study the root words, but for here one more comment. In context, it means lean towards be favorably disposed-the awareness of God's grace, favor, and joy. Or it's grace recognized.
Joy has a source. In our above examples the source was winning the game, or the desire to have a baby, all fulfilled.
In our scripture of Galatians the source is Holy Spirit, if you are Christ's that lives within you. And His Divine Love in you has varied expressions, joy being one of them. To qualify that joy means to be aware of God's grace, go ahead lean in to His favor. Overflowing!
And other things come to mind where there is hurt, pain, unfairness, evil, etc. What about that? Scripture also says, celebrate with those who celebrate (can you be happy for another when it doesn't include you?) and weep with those who grieve. Romans 12:15.
Let's zoom out our lens a bit to put joy into perspective. Remember above the comment about source? Who, what, where, when and why- they all apply to source.
One more brief jaunt, before summing up and pulling joy and perspective together.
The Enneagram, I mentioned person Type 1- the good type in the Goodness in the last blog post. Check it out if you haven't read it. There is another type in this post, the 7. The 7 rules their life with joy! You want them around. They are people who bring laughter to the group, sometimes entertainers. Those things seem like a stereotype, and while they aren't happy or joyful 24/7, it's a root in their life. They are very POSITIVE people (yes it can be their demise if they don't face up and look at the negative or avoid the times that are not joyful). Usually for each of us, our strength, can also become our weakness. They have the capability to find the good in everything. Just as important, and this is the part I wanted to stress here, they see the world in a bigger picture, with ideas and possibility. They are fascinated with the future-what can and will be.
To put it together, our Source is Jesus. He overcame the world and because of His resurrection, we have eternal life. We get to have an intimate relationship with Him as Friend, Savior, Father, Protector, Brother....you name it. No matter the circumstance, we can have an overarching view with joy because there is no condemnation for those in Christ and He will work it all out for our good because we are His (Rom 8:1,28). We may not understand, but he is trustworthy and you can depend on him. I mean really depend. Look at the big picture! Widen your lens.
What should I do with my life? He says in Psalm 16:11 he will make known the path of life. I like that. Path of LIFE. HOW? It's in the book! It's discovery. It's relationship. It's worth the struggle, the fight, the pain, the misunderstanding and even the 'unfairness'. The more you know him and his character, the more joy you get, the more about love you get to know. Get to know His word and know him. Widen your lens.
The second part of that verse in Psalm 16:11 In Your presence is FULLNESS of JOY and at your right hand are pleasures evermore. Do you believe it? Widen your lens.
I'm remembering the idioms of things like:
Stay on the right side of the law.
Right as rain
Start off on the right foot
Woke up on the right (or wrong) side of the bed
Anyone in their right mind
Right on the money
I think this list could almost be endless. In the above idiom list with using the word 'right' we have a little what, where, how, and even when. But remember, who is the source?
Fun study, lookup on your own the right hand of God. It didn't start with the idioms! And we even have a right hand in this post... Psalm 16:11...at his right hand are pleasures forevermore!
Be joy filled. He knows the end from the beginning and has you in the midst of whatever you are currently experiencing. Think about our friends the Enneagram 7's. What could be coming? What is possible? Can you see good in the moment? Would you recognize it? Take the litmus test...are you positive?
"Right on!" Hee, hee.