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You have good tidings to bring! Good tidings!
The joy of the Lord being our strength is one of them. But what is joy in a time when society increasingly armors up emotionally to protect from pain, disconnect, discomfort?
The most joyful people are the most grateful says research.
Joy collected over time, builds and fuels our resilience, meaning that we then have emotional strength when hard things happen like lockdowns.
To shut out joy, is to shut out strength.
Something God has always known being the author of joy. Joy is what He is. Joy is what is in His presence. Actually Psalm 16:11 goes a step further and says “in Your presence is fullness of joy.”
When we praise Him, when we thank Him, we are fueling our resilience. But more than that, He inhabits our praises, our joy. (Psalm 22:3) When isolation, distance, disconnect dominate, His presence remains. He does not social or emotional distance Himself!
Self protection and self preservation are not what He does with us. He is love and there is no fear in love. Self protection and self preservation are the tools of fear not love.
Research has found that the one emotion people are terrified of right now is joy. Why? Because joy is vulnerable.
We are seriously choking on vulnerability. We think it’s weakness when actually it is the way to joy, creativity, courage. These things we are in huge need of right now.
When we embrace joy, we are rejecting fear. One of the hurdles that makes joy scary for people is the thought that if I soften to this joy moment, it will just set me up for disappointment or something terrible will happen. So I’ll skip the joy and shield myself instead.
We shield ourselves with food, screens, busyness.
When we do this, we give into the fear of catastrophy and that pushes away the one thing we are all really wanting, joy.
So today, choose joy. It begins with choosing to be real, honest, courageous and saying I may feel vulnerable but I will choose joy. I choose gratitude.
List out what your grateful for today.
I’m grateful for a blue sky, warm sunshine and that He’s got this!
I’m grateful that where God is there is joy.
I’m grateful to have been able to share this with you.