by Sharman J. Monroe
My last post was about pity parties. About how in life we are dumped into situations we don’t like. About how when we don’t get our way, we hold pity parties for ourselves. And about how pity parties don’t move God but that God moves when praise parties show up. Yep, praise parties!
Now I know when you feel like moaning about your life, praise is the last thing on your mind. But think about this for a moment…….when you moan and groan, you feel weak and powerless. God doesn’t want us to be this way because these feelings open the door for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, worry and despair. But more importantly, these feelings don’t bring glory to God; we are not good ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NJKV)
The Word teaches that when you are hurting or grieving or in pain because life is not treating you right to not hold a pity party. Rather it says to rely on the joy of the Lord to strengthen you. The word “joy” here comes from the Hebrew word chedvah which means gladness, rejoicing. Rely on God’s gladness to shield, protect and strengthen you to go on. What does God’s gladness look like?
After teaching the disciples the lesson of the vine and the importance of staying attached to the vine, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” John 15:11 (NJKV). Later He says, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” John 16:24 (NJKV). The word “joy” in these scriptures comes from the Greek word chara which means gladness; calm delight. God’s gladness is calm delight.
Calm delight! A soft gentle smile. A deep satisfying exhale. Peace. Rest.
You’re probably thinking, “God can afford to be all calm delight because He is all-knowing, all-powerful and is everywhere all at once. He knows what is going to happen next and I don’t.” This is true but you know the One who knows all and controls all! You are His child and He is always on your side (Romans 8:31). You have favor and because you trust Him, He has to come through for you for His sake (Psalm 37:40; Jeremiah 39:18).
What is calm delight for you?
It’s watching my cat sit in the open window and take in the sights and sounds of the world.
It’s sipping a cup of mint tea in my quiet house.
What is calm delight for you?
You are made in God’s image and He empowers you to operate in calm delight, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Go to your calm delight place the next time life is throwing everything at you, including the kitchen sink. When you operate in calm delight, you display God’s gladness. You are strengthened to go on with your head up. You defeat Satan’s fiery darts (Ephesians 6:10-16). You show yourself, others and God that you trust God to make all things work out for your good (Romans 8:28). Your ambassadorship is running smoothly on all fours. You bring glory to God. You praise God. And God moves.