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Monthly Archives: April 2017

I think joy is commonly misunderstood. Joy and happiness are two different realities. In my experience most of us cannot explain how these two are different. I can have happiness without joy and joy without happiness.

Happiness is an emotion. I am happy when… and you fill in the blank. I can also say I am not happy when this or that happens. It is based on something happening to me. And mostly it is out of my control. Say for example, when a friend calls I am happy and when he doesn’t I am sad.

Joy is a state of being. It includes the arc of human emotions. Joy is enjoying a constant sense of well-being. It allows us to feel what is appropriate to feel. It is teaches us to understand our feelings as prophetic gifts. Joy has nothing to prove or manipulate and allows us to be humble.

With this constant sense of well-being, established on the rock of Christ, I can feel what I feel without having to say, “You shouldn’t feel like that. Don’t be sad or angry because emotions like that open you up to the icky messy thing of pain. It’s safer if you just toss that under the rug.”

Joy allows us to live in the present moments of life. With joy I no longer need to excuse my past or live in an idealistic delusion of the future.

And despair is joy’s opposite.

Jesus had this thing down. Joy empowered him to use the gamut of his emotions with transforming love. Joy for Jesus said, “It will be ok, you are in the Father’s hands, don’t worry.” Let’s look to him and learn. That is if you believe in that sort of thing.

-Influenced by Dallas Willard and Henri Nouwen

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Take my yoke. When two pull the plow the burden is light. It’s much better this way. Many hands make light work. I am the head, you are the body, and so we are one flesh. This is not about not carrying burdens for there is work to be done. The earth needs plowing for it to come alive. So help me plow it. Share the burden with me.

You my church are the hands and feet of this whole thing. You my church are the workers who by the power of my spirit bring life to what is dead, light to darkness, blessing to curse. Do not like a fool sitting on your inheritance. Use it and work it out. Partner with me and the burden will become light. The burden of all things made new!

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