The joy series will attempt to uncover different aspects of joy. We will explore the joy giver, joy as fruit, joy-news, joy for others, joy-endurance, joy-strength, and how Jesus completes joy.
However, we live in the tension of not home yet and living fully present in our very real, very specific to us here and nows. These tensions can cause us to chase after things that don’t satisfy us or to embrace the false belief that misery equates holy.
But we must learn to navigate this life in fullness and abundance while still being aware that this life is not our true home.
It’s a thin place of beauty if I can remember to stay in it. But it seems too easy to fall the to one side where I embrace this world’s pleasures a little too enthusiastically or to lean to the other extreme where I’m too “heavenly minded” to be much good in the here and now.
That thin place is the place where we grasp a true understanding of grace. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and it’s the power that transforms us. The thin place is where joy and sorrow live in harmony; fear and courage run hand in hand; and faith and doubt wrestle.
The Lament Series walked us through the process of expressing our true heartfelt emotions and thoughts in ways that bring us to the Giver of Life. The Refuge Series taught us that God wants us to run to him even in the midst of excruciating disappointment and doubt.
In the joy series we will cover what joy is, what it’s not, and what we do when we don’t feel joyous and how it all relates to the thin place of walking in abundance while living as lights in this world.
Did you know that joy is referenced 150 times in the Bible and rejoice over 200 times? Combined, that makes for just about one verse a day to feed our hearts a steady diet of joy. And then if we add in the synonyms for joy, such as delight, glad, and blessed, we begin to see an overarching theme of joy woven throughout the entirety of the word of God from Genesis to Revelation.
Imagine what your life would be like if joy was the silken thread that tied all your yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows together. What would it be like to take a bird’s eye view of your life’s tapestry? Would you see that silky golden joy-thread woven throughout? Would it look a little like mine: scarce in some areas and abundant in others?
Joy is not contingent on circumstances. Joy is wholly contingent on God and our response to him. Joy reminds me of the velveteen rabbit whose sorrow brought him long lasting “realness”. Real joy.
Your joy doesn’t have to be some contrived smile that only rests on your cheeks and never makes it to your heart. Joy is much more than an emotion. It’s complex and beautiful and mysterious.
The next few weeks as we explore joy in the biblical sense and God’s going to reveal himself to us in new ways. He’s going to show us how to live in that “thin place” of being in the world, but not of it, and how joy is the key to this place of abundant living.
Great topic. I’m excited to be a part of it. My theme for this year is Joy. Specifically 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG)
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
I’m so glad you’re here! And I love your verse–very clear and I love how Paul ties cheerfulness with prayer. It makes all the difference!