Nehemiah 8:10… Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
How do you know? Is it working for you? Yesterday, I discovered a great definition of Joy. Joy is the passion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good. This definition is one that I have adopted because it postulates that Joy is composed of passion, is always on active display, bridges the gap between two realities that each one of us live in every day, and yields good.
For starters the definition asserts that Joy is a bi-product of our individual internal inspiration, our passion. It’s a two for one deal in that while giving us passion, Our Maker also gave us Joy! Passion fuels our gifts and talents; therefore, it plays tenor to our gifts and talents, which serve as vehicles; the world sees our passion(and Joy) through our gifts and talents. Those talents flow out of an irrevocable calling also from God, which instructs our hearts of our purpose, our lane, our niche, our zone, our avenue for achieving the great commission. The purpose of our passion is to sustain those gifts and talents while they in turn sustain us as we carry out our calling. Joy is the passionate excitement that we should carry Er’ minute of Er’day as we embark upon this one time terrestrial journey. This excited passion should bridge the gap between our personhood and our lives.
Forrest Gump was right! “Life is like a box of chocolates.” And while you “never know what you gonna get”, your passion should always be on active display. It should not just exist, but it should be actively displayed. According to the definition, passion is excited; it is enlivened, thrilled, animated, motivated, enthused, stimulated, electrified, aroused, and energized! Have you ever witnessed an individual that possessed passion powered by any or all of these adjectives, and you couldn’t tell? Allow me to show you another way. Prayer every morning proves that our faith simply exists. Intentionally planning and activating activities with Joy that help accomplish things prayed for proves that our faith actively exists. Both are required; however, the latter should always follow the former. When the “acquisition” of good is good, and well, when the acquisition ain’t so good, Joy posted by passion and proven by excitement should persist. It should persevere because we posses promises that provide a knowing “expectation.”
Certainly not least, this definition admonishes the believer that Joy should also take on a passionate persona that is activated not just when acquiring the good but during the “expectation” that good will eventually come. Promises that propose that “God is not a man that he should lie” that “His promises are yes and amen,” and that "we should count it all Joy when we go through diverse trials…” As true blue believers, we hold unswervingly to these promises.
See, it’s like this Man and Woman of God: Joy is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. Now I can hear you in your biblical scholar voice say, “Wait a minute Beam! That’s the definition for Faith.” (Lol), and you are absolutely right. However, while I openly admit that it is not my intention to mess with your theology at all, it is my desire to submit to you that if your Faith is actively on display, shouldn’t your Joy equally be on display as well? If we really know and trust God, shouldn’t our passion constantly be excited by the acquisition or expectation that "all things work together for the good of them who love Him; who have been called according to his purpose?" Now that’s JOY!
Unless of course you have not heard or heeded His call…now, that’s the passion of a different purpose…tune in tomorrow!