A joy-filled woman abides in God’s love
When we know we’re loved, we can leap tall mountains in a single stride, bake four pies with one hand behind our back, and arrange a neighborhood coffee for fifty.
Either way, a singular resting in our belovedness provides courage for the task at hand, and a deep-seated joy in the doing it. But it’s a two-way abiding. How best to return God’s grand and glorious love?
Obey, obey, obey.
The whole month of December we prayed to know what Jesus wanted for His birthday.
The best gift? Abide. Obey.
The best result? Joy in His presence.
Her main focus is her Lord – not her man or lack of a man or her man who lacks; Her main focus is her Lord– not her appearance, not her health, not her perceived popularity or her children’s well-being, not on how much credit she got for a job well-done.
II Corinthians 5:15 states what should be the obvious:
“And Christ died for all, that they who live, should no longer live for themselves,
but for Him Who died for them, and was raised again.”
Why obvious? We are the ones who live – we are the ones who “should no longer live for ourselves” – and when we live for Him Who died – we have joy.
Can we wake each morning and ask the Lord,
“How do you want me to live for You today? And the reason I’m asking You, Lord, is because I love You.”
That’s a joyful woman–her heart on Jesus, her will abandoned to One Who knows her best and loves her anyway. Reminds me to pray each day:
“Help, Yourself, Lord. I’m yours. Love, Sue.”
A joy-filled woman depends on the Holy Spirit, not on temperament.
Joy isn’t a personality trait. We can’t claim, “Oh, she’s just so fun or outgoing or bubbly, so of course, she is going to have more joy in her life.”
Joy is fruit from the Holy Spirit–not genes from Aunt Joy who knew how to handle 42 kindergarteners on a rainy-day schedule. (Actually, I do have an Aunt Joy who could handle 57 kindergarteners in Sunday School hyped on a Fruit-loops breakfast.)
We can’t claim: “Oh, she’s just so fun and bubbly so of course she’s going to have more joy. I’m more like Uncle George who loved tinkering all day in the basement not talking to anyone unless absolutely necessary. Don’t expect joy outta me (unless absolutely necessary.)”
Joy is universal to all personality types and temperaments BUT it looks different in different people.
In my friend Debbi, it looks like a warm smile and sometimes a belly laugh. In Stella, it’s a kind question about your mother’s health or a note to your child on her birthday. In Marian it’s a kiss on the cheek and a plate of warm oatmeal raisin cookies or a basket of warm muffins. In Melissa it’s a phrase, quickly asked: “What can I do to help? I can paint that for you. I can take that to the Goodwill for you!
Note that in each of these wonderfully diverse women, joy is expressed in service and love for others. Sounds like God–love and service: two peas in a pod. And joy all-around.
A joy-filled woman nurtures a sensitive conscience.
How’s that? When I mess up with God or another, joy’s the last thing on my mind. The sooner I listen to God’s prompting and prickling and do something about it (read: confess/repent/ask forgiveness) — the sooner joy returns.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice. Psalms 51: 7,8
Broken relationships destroy joy. The best thing we can do is run to the Father and ask forgiveness. He’s ready (and been waiting) and He doesn’t hold it over our heads like we do to others at times.
Lord, give me a sensitive conscience. Help me know when I’ve hurt you or wronged another (which hurts You.) May I live so close to You that I know when I’ve blown it. Keep me coming back to You. Thank You and Amen.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103: 12-14
Make copies on card-stock and bless your friends this New Year!
What better gift can we give our family, friends and Savior, than a joy-filled heart? Happy New Year! May you know how very much God loves you.
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