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When I was a teenager I used to work with an older, bitter mannered lady. She claimed Christianity and I am not going to dispute that she was because that simply is not my place nor do I know what was or is in her heart. What I can attest to is that what I and others witnessed in her was her lack of joy. She in fact send me home crying many times due to hateful remarks and otherwise hurtful actions. I often wondered why in the world was she so crabby. Frankly to this day I really have no answer.
It it so easy to become bitter. Living in this world is very hard. No one ever said it was going to be easy. Turning on the news is depressing. Walking out the front door can even be a bit of a downer at times. We as a nation have started to live in fear. We never know when we send our children out if we may ever see them again. I admit I have greeted my son more than once at the door showering him in hugs and kisses for this very reason. And yet I refuse to let the world still my joy.
As Christians we have joy because we have hope. We have the wonderful gift of salvation. No matter what the world throws at us nothing can take that away. There is a peace that comes with that as we stare at bills we are unsure how are going to get paid. There is comfort in that when we kiss our husbands good bye as he is heading off to work. God is here for us and He cares greatly for us. He loves us and we are His beloved.
So why as Christians do we go around so sour faced. It is because we have allowed the world to steal something that was never meant for the taking. We allowed the world to steal our joy!! That joy that only can come from a close relationship with our heavenly Father. That joy that was ours to have the moment we proclaimed that we would pick up our crosses and walk with Him.
Now there are a few things that we can do to safe guard our joy. We can proclaim it is ours. Trusting that God is going to care for our every need and that He does. But in order to truly gain that trust we must be in His world daily!! Not just on Sunday when we head to Church. It should be more of a habit to us than checking out Facebook. When we devote ourselves to taking time to spend in God’s word we are allowing Him to wash us with the comfort and joy that He has to offer. Now it does take more that just reading the world we must also apply it. Applying it, knowing that this is pleasing to God which will in turn provide us with joy.
We must also be willing to let go. Let go of those who are stealing your joy. This can be a really hard one. Often times it is those that are closest to us that are stealing our joy. I have always told others that if in a relationship all you are receiving is grief then it may be time to rethink that friendship. You see these negative relationship can cloud our minds. They feed us with a negative energy that we truly do not need.
We also need to be willing to sing God’s praises in the storms of life just as much as we do when things are going well. It is hard to see the silver lining when we are going through a hard time. Oh how well I know. Yet it is during this storm that life lessons are being learned. It is during these storms that our testimonies are being strengthen and we are truly given a chance to grow. Some of my fondest memories during y Christian walk have come from the storms of life.
But what about this gentleness that is mentioned in this verse? The definition of the world gentleness is considerate, kindly in disposition, amiable and tender. This my friends is some where I myself have a lacking in. It is hard to remain gentle all day when it seems that no one else in your house is listening to you. I mean how many times in one day should one really have to say that it is not nice to hit your sister or that when wrestling around someone is going to get hurt. Often times I start the day off in a gentle manner but then buy the end of the day my gentle nature has packed up and moved out. This of course then spills over into other areas that it really doesn’t need to. Once again I find that I am allowing my joy to be stolen. Yet there are a few ways to help in these areas as well.
What if we all decided to read our Bible’s not only in the morning but somewhere about mid-day. What has worked for me is to open my Bible to the scripture I read that morning and just sit it on my kitchen counter. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so every time I walk by the counter I will read at least one verse. This helps keeps me grounded. This keeps me filled with joy. Another thing I like to do is to listen to upbeat music. Here we are a huge fan of KLove. Nothing seems to put me in a better mood then to crank up the radio and just worship God even while I am folding that dreaded laundry.
Our lives should scream of joy and gentleness by all those around us. Yet it is one thing that even in Church I see a huge lack in. How are you on the joy front? Is it something that you need to work on as well? I will be praying that we all start expelling a lot more joy and a lot less crabbiness.
Until Next Time Just Keep Soaring 4 Him,
I would like to invite you to my Facebook group Christian Homemakers in Training where we dive into homemaking, motherhood, marriage and group devotions. After all, we all need a safe place to grow together, right?