Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Blessed with Joy

9 Comments

I noticed that Write Integrity Press set their focus for the year as Joy. What a GREAT idea. And imagine my surprise and delight when my Dear Boy wrote about this very thing on his blog!

Joy can be such a misconstrued concept. With so much input, I had to chime in!

lucy_psychboothDo you remember the little “Happiness Is” song? I was in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown as a junior in high school. Played the role of Lucy Van Pelt – the doctor is in. “Five cents, please.” And now, mummmph-ty-mmmph years later, I still remember every phrase of that song. “… finding a pencil, tying your shoe, catching a firefly …” All of the paths to happiness are simple, everyday successes. Just makes you want to hug yourself. How sweet. How cozy … How wrong.

Don’t misunderstand. Looking for the good in circumstances – the Pollyanna effect – is great. I’m a BIG POLLYANNA!

But what happens when a day offers no successes. What happens when reality steps in with financial pressures, health issues, separations, deadlines, traffic, noise?

And then the copy machine runs out of ink. (Seriously. On some days it just doesn’t take that much, does it?)

Those are the times when you learn how truly temporary happiness can be. Based on the happenings around you, happiness is as fleeting as a soap bubble. It’s created when we work at looking at things a certain way, but when that item disappears, we have to contrive another one to take it’s place in order to maintain the feelings.

On Dear Boy’s blog, he put it like this: “I remember this part of my life! And it wasn’t even that long ago! I was constantly chasing after all these temporary highs, trying to make myself happy as often as possible, only to become depressed and upset (and sometimes even angry) at my pitiful excuse for a life.”

Like chasing a rainbow, happiness will not fulfill, will not remain, and cannot be bottled and saved.

But our Great God didn’t offer us happiness. Christ Himself said in John 16:33 “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Instead, our loving Father offers us a constant companion, part of Himself, in the Holy Spirit. And by living life with that Spirit, building a relationship with our Father, the fruits of His Spirit grow in us.

The second of those fruits is Joy.

I define joy as a mixture of peace, contentment, and hope, with a smattering of assurance mixed in. It will usually show up as a smile, but not always, yet where it is, it remains.

Not dependent on the world around us, Joy is often found at the worst possible times. Like the time in the Apostle Paul’s life that Dear Boy commented on in his article. Paul sat in Nero’s prison writing what he believed could be his final letter to a man he loved like a son. After shipwrecks, sickness, stonings, constant threats, beatings, and false accusations, and after living for years with an intense pain, he wrote these words: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18

That is Extreme Joy!

Advertisements

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

9 thoughts on “Blessed with Joy

  1. Amen and amen. Fantastic post.

    Like

  2. Marji, I really needed to hear this today. My ‘day job’ circumstances have recently changed–not in a good way. These external factors should not affect my happiness, but I allow it to. Not a good thing. God is in control and I have to allow Him to work. He’ll open a door for me if I place all in His hands. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Like

    • So glad I could encourage you.
      Happiness doesn’t last. Such a blessing to know that God adores us and wants good for us. Sometimes to get to the place where we need to be, it gets uncomfortable, but He uses that to grow us and to move us. I’ve SO been where you are. I’m reminded of the song “What if Your blessings come through raindrops.” Hope tomorrow gives a smooth entry into your weekend.

      Like

  3. Indeed it is! Excellent post!

    Like