The Watering Hole is a virtual stopping space in the midst of our crazy, hectic, and wildly beautiful week to week lives, to breathe deep and take a drink at the well of the Lord.
Here’s today’s drink:
The reality of life is that life isn’t safe or simple. If you are alive you will go through a struggle, a trial, or a tragedy. If we aren’t going into one of these realities of life, we are in one or we are coming out of one. It leaves no one untouched. Since the fall of man, we have been in a war, the onslaught of the enemy is to destroy the life of God in us. We can get angry and depressed, we can give up or we can learn to maneuver when the storms of life come. One of the hardest parts of navigating through these realities is knowing how to survive.
The emotions that accompany hardship can overwhelm us, shut us down, and kick us out of the game of life. This is why joy is such a powerful tool. Joy is not happiness. Happiness is within joy but joy is an outgrowth of the Spirit of God. Joy is an aspect of who God is! Happiness is a feeling that one gets when circumstances are favorable. Joy, however, is a place in God that no matter what the circumstance, it does not change and can not be removed. It is a place we can enter and can live in and from. It is something God has given to His people to color their whole world and they can partner in and give away.
Our survival in the trials of life depends upon our ability to access joy! Feelings aren’t facts. My feelings may be powerful at times, they may offer important insight into my own situation. However, they do not necessarily provide accurate information about the outcome or for why the trial is in my life. The enemy of my soul would like nothing more than to be the interpreter of my life but God is the One who sees all things. His character is to work all things for good because He is good. Joy is a perspective changer.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
God is so awesome. He has taken what the enemy uses to destroy us and He put a glory package in it through Jesus Christ. – Tweet that!
If we would use this key in the Holy Spirit called joy and open the gift when bad things happen, He promises to make all things work together for good, for you through faith. Each and every hardship we endure can and will produce perseverance, character, and hope through rejoicing! How do we rejoice?
3 ways to activate joy-
- Look for the grace notes: Remember that joy is a perspective changer. We have to purposefully get our eyes, ears, and thoughts off of the circumstances. Mister Rogers said, “To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” Who has God sent to help you, to pray for you and guide you through? Too often we stay quiet and say “I’m fine.” We don’t want people to pity us or to think us weak. So we push them away. One of God’s greatest gifts of joy in life are people who can walk alongside us when the song of life is playing a sad score. The technical term in music for these”people” is grace notes. Grace notes are ornamental notes that the editor of the music will often use to eliminate the potential for using different interpretations or symbology of the music. The great editor of life, God Himself, gives us “grace note” people in glory packages to provide interpretation for what is happening in our lives. Their job in these times is to bring in humor, comfort, and joy to our hard situations through compassion and love. So stop hiding and declining invites from people who seem to show up during the struggle. Pay attention, some of the best gifts come in the most unassuming wrapping.
- Name the joy: Take time to capture what is happening when trials come. Write down what is going on. Write down what you feel. Then name the joy! Number the glory packages. What did those “grace note” people bring to you from God? How did they help you to reinterpret the struggle? Remember God is good and promises to make all things good. So as my friend Tim Polk says, quoting his friend, “If it isn’t good it isn’t over!”
- Give it away: One day when you have walked out of the trial, the struggle, or the tragedy you will see that God will have created within you a glory package. Now, it is your turn to become a “grace note” person. You will know it when you see those opportunities arise. Be willing to simply step into the storm and watch God use you to bring His interpretation to someone else’s struggle.
We are called to be joy carriers. – Tweet This!
In order to become joy carriers, you will have to be willing to die to self. That is the thing in us that wants to grovel, complain, pity and waste away in the trial. Instead, we must active the weapon of joy. Through these steps above we can begin to lift a praise to God. A new level of worship that is infused with joy. That worship and joy is a call to the Father. He is attracted to the praise of His people. When He shows up the enemy falls back every time!
Thanks for Listening,
Begin to number the joy out loud! Share this photo and start numbering 1-10 at a time and continue as long as you like. Every joy, every glory package, every moment of compassion and love. Every breathtaking scene. Name them one by one! #joyoutloud