Fight for your joy!
I laughed so hard, even though what gave me an incurable case of the giggles was super silly.
See, I joined Instagram this week and I have been trying to figure out how to use this app. I’m pretty much a Facebook girl, but a friend of mine, Cassandra Elliott, told me I should join Instagram. At first, I dismissed it. But then I thought about it: there is a group of wonderful people God has connected to this ministry that only use Instagram. They search for me there and I don’t have a page.
So I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. Thus far, it has been awesome. There are such gracious, loving, kind-hearted people there that have made the transition easy.
The other night, whilst recording a greeting for those connected to me on that platform, my oldest daughter Kyla made a joke. She told me I should call my followers, “Gram Crackers”—a wordplay on graham crackers, since Instagram aficionados refer to the social networking site as “The Gram.” And then my youngest daughter got in on the joke and told me I should tell them, “I love you SMORE,” because S’mores are made with graham crackers, I lost it.
For some reason, the absurdity of their playful ideas sent me into hysterical laughter. The camera happened to be rolling so it captured my genuine reaction upon first hearing their hilarious suggestions. When uploading the video to Instagram, instead of having the laughing fit edited it out, I shared the candid moment.
There is no hiding my silly side. I love to laugh. I enjoy light-hearted, clean fun, especially because I know laughter is good for the soul. And with all the things we confront and face in life, laughter is necessary. You have to choose not to get bogged down and you must fight for your joy.
In a follow-up Instagram post, yesterday, I shared a scripture found in Proverbs 31:25 NLT. It says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
That word laugh in this passage of scripture is the Hebrew word “sachaq,” (pronounced saw-khak), which can also mean to rejoice. This Proverbs 31 woman rejoices with no fear. She doesn’t let life strip her of her laughter, of her smile, of her optimism, of her trust in God.
Friend, when you walk with God and you know He is for you, you can laugh and rejoice instead of giving into fear. When your hope and confidence is in the Lord, you can lean on God to strengthen you so you can fight for your joy.
Joy, which is not based on circumstances, differs from happiness. It is a fruit of the spirit, or in other words, a byproduct of the indwelling power of the Holy Ghost (Galatians 5:22-23). The Greek word for joy is chara, and is related to charis, meaning “grace” or “a gift.” Chara (joy) is our response to charis (the gift of God’s grace and goodness).
When you fight for your joy, you do that by meditating on all the ways God has been good to you. You focus on His grace and favor. You concentrate on His provision and blessings, and all His promises.
When you do that, you won’t be stressed about what tomorrow holds, because you know the one who controls the future is holding you. He’s guiding you. He’s favoring you. He’s blessing you. He’s always finding ways to be good to you. Even when the odds aren’t in your favor, God still finds ways to secure the best possible outcomes for you.
I know life can get to be a lot, but fight for your joy. Sometimes, quite honestly, it can feel like the walls are caving in on you, but fight for your joy. Everything that can does go wrong, but fight for your joy. You may be thinking, Dianna, that's easier said than done. The more I speak the word of God and resist worry and fear it seems like more things pop up to make me worry and feel fearful.
Fight for your joy anyway.
Choose to laugh. Choose to sing praises to God. Choose to rejoice anyway. Philippians 4:4 NIV says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
In good times and bad, rejoice.
The next time you find yourself moping, ask the question found in Psalm 43:5, which is what I’m stirring into your cup of inspiration today. It says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, put your hope in God. Place your confidence in His faithfulness. And the God of all grace will strengthen you and preserve you through the struggle.
Make a conscious decision to fight against fear and worry. Don’t let the cares of this life, or the attacks of the enemy, steal your joy.
Now let’s pray.
God, in the natural, I have every reason to worry. Yet, I will find every reason to rejoice and praise You. For You are yet good in the midst of it all. Thank You for all the things You for Your grace and favor; for all the things You have done, are doing, and are going to do. Even though everything isn’t going the way I want it to, help me meditate on Your goodness and fight for my joy. Give me strength to resist worry and fear, and wholeheartedly trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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