Monday, January 4, 2010

Joy and a Smile


Psalm 4:6-8 Why is everyone hungry for more? "More, more," they say. "More, more." I have God's more-than-enough, (7) More joy in one ordinary day Than they get in all their shopping sprees. (8) At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, For you, GOD, have put my life back together.


The godly are those who are faithful and devoted to God. David knew that God would hear him when he called and would answer him. We, too, can be confident that God listens to our prayers and answers when we call on him. Sometimes we think that God will not hear us because we have fallen short of his high standards for holy living. But if we have trusted Christ for salvation, God has forgiven us and he will listen to us. When you feel as though your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, remember that as a believer you have been set apart by God and that he loves you. He hears and answers although his answers may not be what you expect. Look at your problems in the light of God's power instead of looking at God in the shadow of your problems.

Two kinds of joy are contrasted here-inward joy that comes from knowing and trusting God and happiness that comes as a result of pleasant circumstances. Inward joy is steady as long as we trust God; happiness is unpredictable. Inward joy defeats discouragement; happiness covers it up. Inward joy is lasting; happiness is temporary.


Nehemiah 8:10 says "...the joy of the Lord is my strength"

True joy always involves three things:

(1) A conscious decision to focus each day on God's goodness;
(2) Reaching out to bless others every chance you get;
(3) Understanding that joy produces strength, which explains why your joy is the devil's number one target. If you lose your joy you lose your strength, and he wins!

Dallas Willard writes: "To cut off the joys and pleasures associated with our bodily lives and social existence as 'unspiritual,' can have the effect of weakening us in our efforts to do right."

There are basically three kinds of people: The joy impaired - who believe we're not supposed to be happy, we're just supposed to be responsible. These people feel guilty about feeling good. The joy extinguisher - who's been hurt by life and whose anger simmers just beneath the surface. If you let them, they'll rain on your parade because your joy really bothers them. The joy carrier - when you're around them they breathe life into you. If you're joy-impaired, try spending a little time with joy carriers. Explain to them that you've been trying to break out of your joy-impaired condition. Ask them to become your joy mentor, meeting with you and holding you accountable for your attitude.

One way to make sure we express our joy is to lighten up! SMILE! Get a spiritual face-lift! Don't just give your children orders; smile while you're doing it. If your husband or wife works in a difficult environment, make sure they don't come home to more of the same. Smiles are like thermostats; they set the temperature and determine the climate around you. Joy is infectious. How people see you determines how they'll treat you. Who wants to be around somebody who looks like they'll bite your head off at any moment?

Learn to smile; it opens doors and hearts. It causes others to relax and lower their guard. It says, "I'm happy to be with you."

A well-known Bible teacher recently wrote, "One morning in the shower God said to me, 'I wish you'd smile when you're talking to me.' At 6:00 a.m. I didn't feel much like smiling, but I tried it anyway. I thought, 'I'm glad nobody's watching.' But when I did it, I immediately felt better. Then God reminded me of the words, "… joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5) Suddenly, I realized that when my eyes open each morning - joy is right there with me. All I have to do is activate it and operate in it all day long. The decision comes first - the feelings follow. That's how it works."


"Lord, like the Psalmist wrote in our verse today, "More joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. (8) At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, For you, GOD, have put my life back together." You bless my life daily with so much joy. I want to make a conscious effort today to express that joy by smiling more. At the beginning of this new year, I choose to recognize the gift of Your Joy, and to smile at my kids, my wife, my co-workers, people I come in contact with, more than I did last year. I thank you for the joy that I am experiencing today. Now, I will notify my face. In Jesus name, amen!"


Anonymous said...

It is amazing how things are meant to be ... I have spent the last 2 weeks pondering my "joy" about changing departments at work. I walked in to work today and my boss said, the look on your face says you have "checked out". Oh my, I don't want others to see a lack of joy in me. I want others to want to share my joy! Thanks for the gentle reminder.