- In the gospels it says the shepherds rejoiced with "great joy" with the birth of Jesus. Their joy came from their foundation of hope and trust in the Messiah and what He was born to do. It wasn't from a temporary feel good satisfaction, but from a deep rooted faith.
- In Acts there are multiple accounts of joy as many are saved and healed. Those experiencing this joy were those whose hearts and lives were founded and transformed in Christ. They knew that each salvation and each miracle was done for HIS glory.
- In all of Paul's letters to the churches, he urges them to rest and be comforted in the joy of Christ amidst suffering, temptation, trial, pain...This isn't a "let's put a fake smile on our face and suck it up" happiness, but again, a contentment and hope that supersedes any temporary high or excitement of that moment.
Joy is the result of a life marked by a complete trust, rest, faith, hope, and comfort in who God says that He is, and who He declares us to be in Him. Joy isn't shaken when the world around us is shaken...as Paul said in Philippians, "I have learned in all circumstances to be content..." THAT is joy.
So. This is dedicated to those in my life who radiate the joy of Jesus Christ. I aspire to have the joy that you have.
This is my pastor, Steve Hardin, during one of our Easter services. There's a song we often sing that our worship leader, Isaac Wimberly, put a rap to. This is Steve singing along with Isaac. He is so into it that he isn't aware of anyone around him, not even the guy videoing him. It's not just during a rap that he's this zealous either. You give him a stage and he will passionately preach the name of Christ. You get him in conversation and he will proclaim Jesus as much as he can, and you give him a rap song? He'll rap it for the glory of Christ!! His joy is absolutely beautiful and contagious.
My niece, Faith. The way she looks at life is just beautiful...It's simple, full of a childlike joy that we, as adults, so often lose. My prayer would be that Jesus would grab a hold of Faith's life, transform her heart, and create a TRUE, lasting joy that would continue to shine through her entire life. I love this girl more than I love any other child. Save her, Christ!!
Kailey Hughes. One of the most genuine and godly young women I have ever met. She's graduating high school this next month and going to A&M for college. Her life really is founded in Christ. I have absolutely no doubt that He will continue to use her on her college campus as He has used her at Marcus high school. She has a passionate desire for the lost to come to know Christ, and her unshakable and foundational joy plays a huge role in that. I admire this young woman deeply.
A new, but already dear, friend of mine, Alina Ford. The first night I met her I was drawn to her. She has this crazy spiritual gift of making any person in a busy room feel as if they're the most important. She's a servant hearted, loving, joyful, kind, welcoming woman. Just by being around Alina, I want to know Christ and His love deeper. Love and respect this girl so so much.
My momma. Just a few months ago I asked her to tell me about her life growing up, and not leave out details. I don't think I had ever asked her that. I knew much of it, but had never heard the whole story. I was just blown away by the hard life she endured, but more than that, but the Lord's continual hand on her life: in saving her, preserving her, loving her, comforting her, sanctifying her, and being her true joy. She truly knows what it's like to be LOW and rest in Christ as your JOY, your CONTENTMENT, your COMFORT when the world is dark around you. Wow. If I could have half the joy she attains I would consider myself blessed. I admire this woman greatly and pray to be a royal and beautiful daughter of the King as she is. I love you so very deeply momma.
Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces
will never be ashamed.