When you were a young child, I bet many of you, like me, sang the song… “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Down in my heart. Down in my heart. I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay!
Down in my heart to stay…
There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is something that can come and go…and may even last for a moment in time. Happiness is being content and satisfied. I don’t know about you, but I want to feel more than contentment and satisfaction in my life.
Joy on the other hand is great delight, a euphoria. When we find true joy, it will last forever. It is down in our hearts to stay. That is what I desire for my life.
I believe we find that forever joy when we learn to surrender our life to God. I have found during the trials in my life, my immediate response is to try and control the situation in front of me. The more I try to control it, the further God feels from my life. Sure, I still pray and ask Him for what I desire. I ask Him for peace in my heart. And, that is what makes it confusing sometimes…I am still praying and asking, and He still seems so far away.
Sara personally defined joy as…”The unwavering trust that God knows what He is doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it. Not despite what is happening in my life, but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy, He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.”
“Unwavering trust that God knows what He is doing”… Am I truly surrendering to God’s will for my life…even when it is hard? Surrendering is trusting that even when it’s not what I want, I trust that He truly knows what is best for me and walking His journey in faith. “Blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it”…In prayer am I thanking Him for the blessings that I see coming from the trials and pain? Am I open enough to find the blessings and trusting they are there, despite what is happening in my life?
When life is hard, I find myself questioning whether I have lost the joy in my heart because there are times I don’t feel the joy. Instead of questioning and trying to control the sorrow and pain, I must surrender it to Him. I must give Him my unwavering trust and just be with Him. Faith is believing without seeing and feeling.
We are human beings, not human doings. First and foremost, we must stop and just be. Be with Him and listen. The doing follows the being. The doing is then following the path that He has laid out in front of us. I believe when we start with the doing, we start with controlling and that is not what He wants from us.
As Sara reminds us, this life is not about me, my wants, my needs, my desires. This life is about what He can do through me. This life is about Him. My prayer must not stop with what I want to have happen. Instead my prayer must continue on, asking God that His will be done and to give me humbleness in my heart, wisdom in my head and courage in my hands and my feet to follow his will.
The joy down in our heart doesn’t mean we are exempt from sadness or hurt. It is during those times that if we surrender ourselves to Him, when we stop and first just be with him, we will find joy. He promises us His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5).
It is when we fully surrender to Him that we will have that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in our heat to stay.
I want that for me and I want that for your too! What are you dealing with today that you need to stop and fully surrender to Him?