Nehemiah 8:10 . . . "Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Last night I heard someone say this: "Find something you enjoy doing and you'll never have to work a day in your life." Now remember, we're not talking about the lesser joys to only tickle our flesh; they can actually steal our joy. But I'm talking about the deeper joys, the real joys, the pure joys. And I'm so excited; I think I have "stumbled onto" a real key (We don't really stumble onto anything, do we? The Spirit of God brings revelation to us! Thank You, Lord!). To really find deep fulfillment in life, find the joy in whatever you do. And when we find the joy, we find the strength to do it. Even the most difficult of things can have an element of joy in them. Instead of dwelling on the things we don't like, the things that seem hard for us, find the joy in them and focus on that. And where do we find real joy? In the Lord! He is the source of abundant joy!
This morning as I was pondering all this, I pulled up my email and had a response from yesterday's Wine from a dear friend. It confirmed something to me so powerfully, that finding the joy can actually bring healing to us. Finding the joy enables us to overcome. In the illustration, the healing is not realized, but I believe it could have been if this course of action had been pursued. Here is what my friend shared:
"I am sure that you are aware of this, but there is solid medical evidence that there are some bodily afflictions which can directly be traced back to emotional traumas. The Sloan-Kettering Institute and the University of Michigan Medical School both have studies online that prove this. According to their findings, there are certain kinds of tumors which can be directly tied to incidents of job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, and so forth. Rheumatoid arthritis is another one. By personal experience, I remember vividly my maternal grandmother, who was a healthy hardworking West Virginia country wife. Her husband, my grandfather, was an oilfield wildcatter who brought in several major oil and gas fields in West Virginia. In 1930 he heard of a boom in the Wichita KS area. He told my grandmother that he was going there to work and would send for her as soon as he got established. The only thing she ever heard from him was a letter asking her to send him his violin. She began to lapse into rheumatoid arthritis, with the result that she was wheelchair bound for 15 years and bedfast for 3 years. She was in intense pain; the only income she had was a check for $9.90 every three months from some oil well that he had drilled. I never heard her laugh or see her smile. I do believe that a broken heart was the cause of her distress."
This story is so sad, isn't it!? But what if, instead of being overcome by this fellow's exit, she had turned to the Lord and found joy in Him? Now I know it's not always simple or easy. For if she really loved him, the heartache would indeed be very painful. But what if she went on with her life and, even in the midst of her emptiness, she began to find new meaning and purpose as she yielded to the Lord. Anything that we love greater than God in our lives has the potential to steal, kill, and destroy us--even those things that are good. For only God alone is fully good, pure, and fulfilling. 'For in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).' No, it's not just any joy; it's the joy of the Lord! Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10)." Jesus tells His disciples (John 15:11), "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." His joy fills our joy!!!
Are you brokenhearted in any way today? Hear Jesus' words (Luke 4:18), "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,. . . he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted. . . "