“Count it all joy…” James 1:2
Hello, I am happy to come your way again. Hope your weekend was good? All too soon, we will be drawing the curtains to the first half of the year. Honestly, this has gone quick!
What a year we have had so far, judging by the first six months. None of us ever imagined or scripted this! At the end of the day, six months have gone by and it is not in our power to alter the events of the day. Within your power is your response to it.
It leads me to talk on today’s subject- joy. An overwhelming majority are disappointed in 2020; with all its issues aside, none has topped the coronavirus yet which has kept the world under siege. Some are frighteningly not looking forward to the next half, because if the first was that bad, why look forward to the second half?
I want to start with these four words that can change our paradigm as we brace ourselves for the next six months, “count it all joy”. Before I talk about joy, let us look at what it is not.
1. It is not happiness- joy and happiness are on two different tangents. Not even close! Happiness depends on the happenings, mostly good ones around you to brighten your mood. Nobody in their right mind can be happy at this time, I mean, most of us. What is there to be happy about when the news headlines and the events of the day don’t call for that.
2. It is not cackling laughter- it doesn’t mean laughing out wild and crazy either. It is not really an emotional release. Laughing and falling on the floor with tears in your eyes is not joy. It can be the effect of joy, but it is not the nature of joy.
3. It is not pleasure in pain- in this current context of the world, people are in pain- the vast majority of the world. Being joyful is not being a sadist. It is very abnormal to rejoice in the pain and the discomfort of another.
So, what is joy? I want to define it from a biblical perspective. This verse was written in Greek, so the definition of joy in that language connotes three English words: a cheerful countenance, gladness and a calm delight.
i. It pictures one who is not down but has a positive spirit and attitude because of his cheerful countenance.
ii. A joyful person is one who doesn’t have a sullen mood because he refuses to allow the external circumstances of this world affect his disposition towards others. That is gladness. Some are lashing out in violent temper tantrums. It might be the first time one is expressing his mood in that fashion, because none of us have ever been in such a tough predicament.
iii. One who has a calm delight is optimistic about finding a solution to the problem. He sees a silver lining behind the cloud. People who are like that tend to treat problems as temporary than permanent. They take intelligent, well thought out decisions, knowing a decision in a temporal situation can alter their destinies for the rest of their lives.
That is the big picture of joy. How do we receive joy or become joyful? Let me quote this Bible passage.
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy” Colossians 1:11
Walk into the second half of the year with God’s power, that comes by prayer. It is through God’s power that we experience the infilling of joy. So I end on this note, enter into the second half, “counting it all joy”.
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Till I come your way again…
Peace & Love