Not happiness. Joy.
Not "Whoo hoo!" joy. His Joy.
Joy that comes from a choice. A decision to be joyful. When everyone around you wouldn't blame you one bit to be sad, angry and depressed.....instead they witness joy.
Where, I ask, does this joy come from? Where does it exist? How, through debilitating cancer treatment, can someone be truly joyful?
One of the biggest lessons I have learned comes from a man of quiet faith. Watching him walk through one of the most difficult seasons of his life, has taught me more about joy than I ever thought possible.
"The joy of the Lord is my strength." (Neh. 8:10) We all know this portion of the Word, but how many of us choose to live in His strength with joy being the attitude of our existence?
Not many of us. Including me.
But being a witness to a joy, I thought was impossible, has been one of the most keen challenges I have been faced with lately. I want to walk through dark times with joy. Cause you know what? This kind of joy impacts. It has impacted me. It has spoken to my heart about the true nature of my Father in Heaven. He really is enough...I have seen it firsthand being lived out ... with joy being the key indicator that God is being Who He says He is.
Friends ... life is hard sometimes. It is really, really hard. We can find ourselves in very dark corners of our situations, but guess what? In that dark corner....there is a Light that is yours to hold in your heart. A Light so bright and powerful it can shine and breakthrough the darkness you feel engulfed in. A Light that showers joy on those watching.
I have been a witness to this kind of joy and it has forever changed the way I look at Jesus. He is the Joy Giver ... no matter what you are walking through. This Joy can sustain you through the worst life can mete out.
It is your strength.