Jesus brought joy to the world while He was still in the womb. Do you remember the story when Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus were together with babies in their womb? Baby John leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb because Jesus was occupying the atmosphere. Now that is a potent Joy Bearer!
The Joy of Jesus was modeled throughout His life. He did not waiver. He didn't experience joy one day and then was depressed the next. His joy was constantly overflowing. Even in times of sorrow, Jesus knew the Father would sustain Him with "the oil of joy." And we have that same gift. The oil of joy is constantly flowing from the Father into our lives. The issue is that sometimes our cup is not receptive to the oil He is pouring upon us.
Joy is not merely the by-product of laughter and fun. "Joy is the emotion that makes life worth living in the moment because it resonates with our core identity. It is associated with feelings of ease, appreciation, and meaning."
What is your capacity for joy? All of the gifts Jesus brought to the manger are ours for the choosing. You have a choice to live in peace. You have a choice to love. And you have a choice to experience joy. Joy is a choice.
If you are having difficulty experiencing joy your struggle may be the result of a breach in your identity. Do you truly know who you are and are you truly living out of that knowledge?
Lovelies, this has nothing to do with natural characteristics -- what you look like, how much you weigh, or if the reflection in the mirror is showing signs of age. It doesn't have anything to do with your relationship, financial, career, or family status, or -- you fill in the blank. Joy has everything to do with living from a place of knowing who you are and being fully content in that knowledge. That doesn't mean you don't want to change this or that, it means that even if nothing changes you are content and happy with who you are, who you truly are!
You have the ability to live out of joy no matter what is going on around you. You have to ask yourself -- Do I really experience joy? Pause for a moment and meditate on the following questions. Be honest. No one is listening except God and, let's face it, He already knows. Masks off, lovelies!
Are you living an authentic life?
Are you living from a place of true gratitude?
Are you in tune with and enjoy spending time with your inner child?
Have you kicked fear to the curb or are you still taking laps around the pool of anxiety?
Have your surrounded yourself with positive people and are you vigilant not to allow negative people to influence your atmosphere?
Do you have authentic bonded relationships?
Have you truly confronted your past and are not holding your life hostage to things you cannot change?
Do you laugh often?
Are you waiting for things to change to be joyful?
Do you have passion?
Do you sweat the small stuff or have you come to realize you can afford it (Believe me if you do not clean your house this week the world will not stop on its axis!)?
Do you get away from your screens often and experience the three-dimensional world?
Happy Christmas to you all!
Joyful joyful I adore you! I know joy is a choice and I have the option to grab hold of joy no matter what life throws at me. Let's be honest, Father, this has been a very rough year in which to find joy. It has been one of the most trying seasons of my lifetime but you have not left me. You are here. Now. In this moment.
Father, I am having a difficult time keeping my joy cup filled. I want to experience joy, true, passionate joy, but I just cannot seem to find the resolve deep inside of my soul to muster up the courage to grab all the joy you have for my life. I know your oil pours over me in times of sorrow, distress, and discomfort but my receptors are off kilter and unable to capture Your joy. I need a realignment. Maybe truly in my heart of hearts I really need to allow myself to go back to basics and experience child-like joy in my life. Will you help me rewire my thinking?
I ask Father for your joy to be poured out in me and I ask that I would be able to receive it. I cannot do it on my own. I have proven that in the past. I must have your intervention. I am inviting you to intervene. Remove every saboteur or surrogate of joy from my life. I don't believe anything good comes from faking it until you make it. That is truly a lie from the enemy that has trapped me into thinking that anything fake can get me on the path to the authentic.
I am tired of a life lived without an abundance of joy. I want joy, Father! That is my Christmas request. Please give me overflowing, authentic, abundant joy. In the Most Precious, Powerful, Authentic, Joy-Filled Name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.
Below are scriptures to meditate on while you usher in the gift of Joy!
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. James 1:2-3
Go ahead and celebrate! Come on and clap your hands, everyone! Shout to God with the raucous sounds of joy! Psalm 47:1
Lord, you have multiplied the nation and given them overwhelming joy! They are ecstatic in your presence and rejoice like those who bring in a great harvest and those who divide up the spoils of victory! Isaiah 9:3
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Ecclesiastes 9:7
You love him passionately although you did not see him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory! 1 Peter 1:8-9
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! Romans 15:13