Do You Have It?

Do You Have It?

An Orange County democrat in California is one of the persons running to unseat Representative Michelle Steel in Congress. Adaitya Pai sent out an email telling supporters that he had suspended his campaign because of a “lack of joy.”

Then Pai did some more thinking and sent out a second email saying that the news of his campaign’s conclusion was sent out by mistake by a staffer who is no longer with the campaign. He didn’t deny the message in the email, but said it should not have been sent. Isn’t that strange if he dropped out because of a “lack of joy.”

I wonder where he found a new supply of joy. It also should remind all of us that you must be careful about sending out an email. When it goes out—it goes out and you never know where the message might end up.

I don’t know how his campaign is going to work out, but I do know that if you ever lose your joy in doing your work, you probably are not in the stream of God’s purpose for your life. I think that real joy comes when we see our work as a platform for fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. If you are losing your joy, it can be restored by a commitment to work, serve and live in the stream of purpose of what God called you to be.

Real joy only comes from God. People can try to conjure up a degree of a smile or brief joy, but Job reminds us that “the joy of the Godless lasts but a moment. (Job 20:5) In contrast, the Bible teaches us that the joy of the Lord will be our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Dwight Moody was four years old when his father died. He only had a fifth-grade education. The great Chicago fire of 1871 destroyed his church and home. Despite all of these challenges he faced throughout his life, Moody testified, “I am so thankful that I have a joy that the world cannot rob me of. I have a treasure that the world cannot take from me. I have something that is not in the power of man or devil to deprive me of, and that is the joy of the Lord.”

Joy from the Lord is not only the strength of your life, but also has an influence on others. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29, “No corrupt communication shall come out of my mouth today for I speak words of faith and edification. Therefore, my words bring life and joy.”

If you lose your joy, you found your joy in the wrong place. If you are going through an extremely tough time, you can find real joy in the Lord. Read the book of Philippians. It was written by Paul from prison but it’s called “the letter of joy.” Its theme is seen in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.”

The best definition of joy is the acronym JOY—Jesus first, Others second, Yourself third. That’s the joy that you will not lose.

Joy is a distinguishing mark of the Christian faith. It is also a mark of the fulfilling of the Holy Spirit because joy is listed as a fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22) The most important thing you put on every day is not your clothes, but it’s your attitude which expresses joy. I hope you can sing with confidence the children’s song, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.”

If you lose your joy—you lose!

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