I’d left the ministry and moved three states away, with a marriage unraveling. It was my second job in four months. Being the consummate over explainer, I shared my troubles with my boss. The next morning, when I showed up for work, I was no longer on the schedule.
At that exact moment, it was like someone pressed the pause button on my life. I stood frozen, looking at the schedule–without my name on it–and prayed, “Lord, what now?”
My prayer was immediately answered with a sense of deep calm, an assurance that my life was still in God’s hands. Despite the circumstances, I was able to work my entire shift–like it was any other day. The boss called me in at closing time, marveling at the poise with which I’d faced uncertainty. I told her it was the Joy of Lord. She put me back on the schedule.
Perhaps you can relate? You’ve stood before, back to the wall, with limited options. But rather than running away you stayed put, empowered by the Holy Spirit. At such times we can choose joy, but can’t produce it. This brand of eternal confidence only comes from God (Galatians 5:22).
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.Colin Powell
King David calls it a mega-multiplier:
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
It was a recent post, What if Joy? on Praise2worshipdotnet, that jogged my memory about the power of genuine joy. Pastor Pete shared an inspiring thought: the Joy of the Lord is a good escape plan. Believers under its power can face whatever God has for them with confidence. (Think Paul and Silas singing in prison or Christ facing the cross).
On this Christmas Day may we pause for joy, like the shepherds out in the fields on the night of Christ’s birth, scared half to death by a visiting angel.😇
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”Luke 2:10 (NIV)