At a prayer service a couple of weeks ago God began stirring something in my spirit; a new look on joy. I believe I was purposely placed a row behind these two men that night. These guys looked like they had probably seen their fair share of tough times, but that is not what stuck out to me. When the worship music began, you could feel the Holy Spirit radiating from them. You could tell that these men had truly laid everything they carried at the feet of Jesus. They swapped out their burdens, giving them to God and receiving joy. Y’all, I do not think I have ever witnessed a person that happy. They didn’t have to speak to me, didn’t have to tell me their names or life stories. But they affected me. So much that weeks and weeks later, I still cannot get them out of my head.
For me, their utter joy was a small glimpse of Jesus and I want to be more like that.
I could put up a front and tell you I’ve always been pretty happy but that would be a lie. Actually, in the last eight months, God has been doing some major changing in me. See, I used to let my circumstances define my happiness. I’m not saying I’ve lived some awful life because in reality God has blessed me beyond measure. But I let things get to me, I carried burdens Jesus never meant for me to carry. Things like my earthly dad not being in my life, my anxiety, and many other things were all used like excuses for the attitude I had adopted. I felt like, in a way, the world owed me something, like my actions and feelings were justified because I had circumstances. I was unhappy.
Jesus did not die on the cross for me to be like that. His death did not give me some kind of right to a negative spirit. His death, was for our life. I was unhappy because I was putting my joy in the world. But God calls us to place our joy in Him.
Though you have not seen Him, you love him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. – 1 Peter 1:8
“Inexpressible and glorious joy”?
I’d say that is an exact description of the men I told you about. Want to begin looking more like that? Me too. The great thing is through Jesus Christ, we can. Let joy become your prayer and God will begin a change in you. Pray that He could not only give you the gift of joy, but also teach you to give that same joy to others. That He would teach you to live in a way that others might want to know more about Jesus, because that is ultimately our goal as His followers, right? Pray against negativity, that when you are faced with adversity you would rise above, giving it to Jesus and not letting go of your joy because He created you to be a overcomer. But friends, when you pray big prayers even bigger changes occur. Don’t let that scare you, let God create you to be more joyful like Him, I promise you it will be worth it.
- J – Jesus first.
- O – Others second.
- Y – You last.
And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord. It shall rejoice in His salvation. Psalm 35:9