I remember thinking I want to be like her…
As a twelve-year-old girl, I was mesmerized by the beauty that radiated from her. With her hands held high and joyful smile on her face, she gently swayed back and forth in a dance-like motion. I knew staring wasn’t polite, but I couldn’t help it. Never in all my life had I witnessed someone praise the Lord so passionately. She was contagiously joyful. Beautifully unbound. Graciously wild and free…
It’s been over twenty-five years since I watched the woman in the back of the church that morning. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Curiosity makes me wonder what it was that lead her to rejoice so ardently.
Where did her joy come from?
Did God answer her prayers?
Did He grant her, her heart’s desire?
Had God delivered her from some horrendous situation?
Or was it something more?
As I ponder all the reasons why she might have been praising, I can’t help but ask myself similar questions.
What am I seeking joy from?
Is it in preferable situations?
Is it from God answering my prayers the way I want Him to?
Is it in worldly pleasures?
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5 NIV
I may never know the story behind the woman’s vibrant display of worship. But perhaps that’s the lesson to be learned here. What if we don’t need a specific reason? What if the way to real joy isn’t found in our circumstances? What if it’s found in God alone?
As we dig into God’s word over the next few weeks we will discover that:
- A thankful mindset leads to a joyful heart
- True joy isn’t found in our circumstances
- Jesus is the source and the way to everlasting Joy
Thank you for joining me. I’m looking forward to jumping into God’s word with you as we study the Fruit of Joy! This article is a part of our current series, Sweet Smelling Fruit—Cultivating a Heart that Lives by the Spirit. Right now we are taking a closer look at #Joy.
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