If you have a preschooler, you may be familiar with Uncle Charlie’s song; “J” is for Jesus. If not, check out the link and shoo-bee doo-bee doo away!
Though a silly song it rings of a fantastic truth! The recipe for JOY: Jesus, Others, You.
Psalm 28:7 “The JOY of the Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
Our first instinct is to have the recipe backwards. We focus first on ourselves, our hurts, our needs, our injustices, our to do lists… then if we manage to move on from ourselves we may think about someone else’s need. But how often are we really helping them unconditionally, or does it make us feel good in return to be needed, to be helpful, or charitable. Then, with whatever is left or all too often out of routine, we go to church and focus on Jesus, or maybe hear a song on the radio. But our focus on Jesus is sporadic. Meaningful, yes, but only when we have time, or, of course when we are desperate!
Living life through the Holy Spirit gives us His power to not react on our instincts, which are sinful, but to respond with the likeness of Jesus. Oh anyone can react, but when you are in relationship with Jesus you are equipped to choose to respond! When we put Jesus as our first focus we trust Him with all our heart. Naturally we put others before ourselves, loving and caring for them out of the abundance of His mercy, grace, and love not out of our own “goodness” or strength. When we think of ourselves we see that we have the JOY of the Lord as our strength to rightly think with eternal purpose through our situation and can trust in Him. No matter what our current situation or those we face we can burst out with songs of thanksgiving….or shoo-bee doo-bee doo’s!
So, to quote a very special person who has been influential in my life, “choose joy” today!