We, as believers, are made for joy. That's something I know in my head. After all, I spent three months doing a word study on "joy" a few years ago after trying to figure out exactly what it meant in Nehemiah when it said, "the joy of the Lord is our strength."
I was reading Holley Gerth's Do What You Can Plan and I came across this sentence: "We were made for joy."
For some reason, that sentence just stopped me in my proverbial tracks. I sat with it for a while and let it sink into my soul. I am made for joy.
What does that even mean?
I think it means that pleasure and enjoyment aren't bad things. For whatever reason, I feel slightly guilty when I do the things that bring me joy - like somehow it is more spiritual to be slightly miserable. But that verse tells us that joy comes from God and it's a source of our strength - not something to feel guilty about. I think it also means that we, as believers, have a deep well-spring in our souls that the Holy Spirit fills up to overflowing with joy when we let Him. Let's face it, being human, circumstances can steal our joy if we let it. True, deep, abiding joy despite circumstances is a supernatural phenomenon - not something we can do in our own human strength (and trying to white knuckle joy into our lives rather proves the point).
This year, I'm on Holley Gerth's God-sized Dream Team, and one thing God has impressed on me lately is that my dream - the dream of writing a book, of making my living from my pen - is not a burden.
It should be a source of joy - not a source of anxiety, stress or even guilt. Unfortunately, so much of the time, my dream feels like a weight rather than a blessing.
I wonder how I will get it done. I wonder what I should do next. I worry that it's pointless or useless or I'm not doing enough.
If you'll notice, there's an awful lot of "I" going on in those sentences. Just as God is my source of joy, God is also my source of fulfillment for my dreams. My only job is to be obedient, following one step behind Him as He leads me down my unique path.
God created each of us to know and experience joy. That doesn't mean hard times don't happen. It doesn't mean that we won't feel sorrow and pain. It doesn't mean fulfilling our dream will be all sunshine and puppies. We'll face uphill slogs - that's a given.
But we also are uniquely created for joy, too. Joy is something that is independent of circumstances. It can spring up at the most unexpected times. It's a gift, and the Bible tells us that all good and perfect gifts are from above.
As 2013 begins and you look at your own God-sized dreams, embrace the joy of pursuing them. Let God fill you up to overflowing with the wonder of His goodness and His enduring faithfulness. All you have to do is obey and let God take care of the outcome. Doing that gives you the freedom to experience the joy of dreaming without the all the angst.
~ Blessings, Bronte