"Shout for joy..."
"Sing a song..."
Little words. Short phrases. Simplicity, right???
Well, it should be. In actuality, it really is, yet somehow we (er...um...I) make it harder than what it should be.
In my quiet time with Jesus, my heart has been impressed with the common theme of joy.
JOY - JOY - JOY
Say that word by itself, and it only tells me what I wish I had. It doesn't tell me what I need to do to have joy, nor does it tell me how to obtain it. It just reminds me of a deep desire of something I wish my soul possessed. Joy...
I'm a "fast food" kind of girl. I order it. I want it. And I would like it now-please-and-thank-you. I don't care for fancy food and I don't care how long it has simmered for. Just get it on my plate. If I smell it, then it should be time to eat it.
I don't like exercise, yet am in great need of some major weight loss! I'm still waiting for the miracle revival meeting where I get Holy Spirit "zapped" & all my weight is shed off at the altar, with everyone praising the Lord, while I dance around, falling out of my overly huge clothes from my instantaneous miracle weight loss.
"Are you ready to stop smoking?" my wonderful doctor asks, where I stubbornly reply, "Not unless you have an instant cure-of-a-pill where I will never crave another cigarette, will not gain weight, will not have mood swings, and can guarantee it will be an easy-peasy, happy journey to being a non-smoker."
So, imagine my response when God told me what the answer to having joy was!!!
Can ya guess??? Go ahead! Guess!
I gasped. Like the kind of "gasp" I did when He told me I probably would not have my instantaneous "Revival-miracle-weight-loss" experience.
"Give thanks Heaven! In ALL things! In ALL seasons! In ALL circumstances! When your checkbook is empty, give thanks that your needs are being met! When...give thanks!"
Well, I kinda' do that anyway. Sorta'. Um...sometimes. Well, only when it's not THAT bad! But I suppose I could give thanks more. Sure, no problem.
"SHOUT for joy Heaven! Give out a shout to me for all of the wonderful things you DO HAVE!"
I don't want to shout, but o-kay, if I have to, I suppose I can try.
"Sing a song sweet Heaven! When you sing a song of praise, it penetrates the darkness around you! Sing when you are sad. Sing when you are happy. Sing when you are worried. Sing when you are peaceful. Sing when you are depressed. Sing when you feel content. Sing. Sing. Sing! Especially when you don't feel like it!!!"
Hmmm...This list is sounding pretty familiar. I'm sure I have heard this before. Actually, many times before! I guess I am supposed to sing!!!
"Rejoice Heaven, rejoice! You are so busy looking at everything you do NOT have that you are failing to see all that you DO have. Cultivate an attitude of praise. It really does create joy. At first, it may seem odd and it may feel uncomfortable, but every time you CHOOSE to rejoice rather than despair, you are choosing to walk closer to joy..."
I don't know about you, but I really am tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching others experience joy while I still sit miserable. I often wonder if God lets us get to that place of getting "sick and tired of being sick and tired" so we will finally do what He's been asking us to do for forever!
What has God been asking you to do? Are you ready to do it? Are you finally ready to take the journey that He has placed in front of you over and over and over and over? I'm thankful God never gives up on me! I'm thankful that He continues to encourage me to walk forward on the individual journey that He's placed me on!