Joy Down In My Heart
Romans 15:13 “ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Nehemiah 8:10 “...Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
I tend to resemble Eeyore when it comes to being joyful. My tendency is to worry, overthink, and overreact. I don't like mornings. I don't like loud chewing. Especially cereal. Or gum in the backseat. I don't like my children creating chaos and noise. Or rainy days. Or changed plans...
But I know God wants us to be joyful. I have been trying to figure out what that means. A childhood song keeps coming back into my head. I bet most of you will remember it. And probably won't be able to read it without singing it.
“I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
Down in my heart to stay.”
-George William Cooke
The song goes on to tell sing about “the love of Jesus down in my heart.” The only real way joy can actually find a permanent spot in our heart is if we have Jesus there.
When I rely on Jesus for my joy and not other human beings or worldly possessions, a wonderful shift can begin.
When I remember Jesus is my source of real joy, I can remember that I have a place in heaven because of His sacrifice on the cross for me. That this sinful world is not my final home. That while I am flawed and chasing a worldly view of perfection, He made me just how He wanted me. That my body isn't my permanent dwelling place, but a tent, and my aches and pains and stomach aches won't be forever. I can remember that my teenagers will do teenager type things, but I am guiding them through Jesus and they are responsible for their relationship with Christ. That is out of my control. I can remember that my needs will be taken care of. That His grace is sufficient for me. I will have contentment instead of chasing the next new want.
If my joy comes from humans or material things, I will be let down. Upset. Angry. But if my joy comes from Jesus, I will be filled with grace that overflows to others. It won't be affected by my day or the weather or my circumstances.
Joy from Jesus comes from remembering who He is and what He has done for us. Nothing on this Earth should be able to steal our joy when we remember where we are going. We are Heaven bound through Jesus. And while we are here, we can rely on Him.
Who are you relying on for your joy? Your spouse? Your children? Your job? Money? Work with me to have joy through Jesus. Connect with Him daily. Spend time in prayer. Remember you are His. And when your joy thieves come looking for you, give them to Jesus.