I am so excited to spend the next six Mondays studying what I want more of and maybe you do too: joy.
I’m glad you’re here and hope that together we can intentionally get off the roller coaster of swinging emotions and get more control over our joy level.
It can hit me at any time.
This time, I was simply mopping my floor when the water in my bucket became a tsunami in my mind.
No question robs joy or snuffs out hope like this one. What can begin as faith slips to fear as “what if” attempts to make itself at home; the temptation to play out the worse case scenario takes over.
Fear replaces faith. Joy is stolen.
But it doesn’t have to.
A couple of Marys help me see…
Joy can be experienced even in the middle of fear.
In Matthew 28, the hope of these two women had been crucified and laid in a tomb. Yet, there must have been a spark left, because they were compelled to go and look.
When they arrived, they didn’t see what they expected. An earthquake shook and an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled back the stone and sat on it. Speaking hope, he told them Jesus had in fact done what He said; He had risen.
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (verse 8)
Afraid yet filled with joy.
Joy was the strength that overcame their fear.
Joy was the strength that overcame the joy robbing question.
The women could either look at reality: what was going to happen next? The unknown was terrifying.
They could look to the excitement of what would be next now that Jesus was risen!
Afraid, yet filled with joy, they believed. In the Greek, filled with joy, is a combination of two words. Chara means to rejoice and megas means great or large.
One thing is going to become great and large, either fear or joy. Like the Marys, I have to turn from my “tomb”; my joy-stealing fear. I can’t look at two things at once. When I look to the One who is great and large, I find what Nehemiah knew:
“… the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
With this strength, I put the “what if” question to rest…at least for this battle.
Do you have a “what if” question looming in your face today? Though you might be afraid for the future, with the joy of the Lord being your strength, you can be filled with joy. This is no easy thing. Fear fighting and joy finding is not for the weak of heart. It’s for the desperate woman who knows she can’t go on if she doesn’t find joy.
Friend, you and I can be Marys today!
How can I pray for you today as you look to the One who is great and large instead of to fear?