To continue our Joy in the Ruins series, I’ll resume from where we left off. It begins with the Spirit of God, the anointing of His Presence. From there, we must make a choice to claim the joy that He has to offer. But, this choice must be intentional and firm.
This week was Halloween. It was no treat. The holidays have a way of putting parents in some sort of frenzy because of the demands of the holiday season. My kids come home from school by 3:30 p.m. everyday. The Harvest Festival at our church began at 5 p.m. I knew I had an hour, a solid hour. My daughter had to practice piano. The kids had homework. Everyone needed a snack. Everyone had to get dressed. Everyone had to accept what they were for Halloween because, apparently, toddlers have a very specific vision for what sort of tigers and butterflies they are supposed to be. The camera had to be charged for photos. I had an hour. Needless to say, the whole night was a blur. We did a lot but achieved nothing meaningful. In the end, it just left us with cute photos, crying children, and miserable parents. We were not intentional about our joy today.
Joy does not just happen to you.It is meant to be claimed.
If the Spirit of God lives in you, you are not at the mercy of circumstance and chance. If that were indeed the case, then Apostle Paul would have been a madman to say, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). He was in chains as he wrote this. His future was unbeknownst to him. Nothing was sure. His suffering was great. Yet, in this short epistle of merely four chapters, he mentions joy at least 16 times. He even says, “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith…”(Philippians 1:25). He believed for the joy of the believer! What is faith if it is without joy? The weight of this world cannot overpower the Spirit of God. The weight of this world cannot overpower you. However, no one on this earth can hand feed you joy every day. Perhaps, we need to stop allowing the world to tell us how to feel. Perhaps, we need to stop believing that we are victims to circumstance and chance.
Your ability to have joy is not at the mercy of the world, because Christ had mercy on you.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)