Contagious J O Y

{Hello friends…Today could not be a more perfect day of the week to introduce you to my heart friend Erin Schreyer. It may be Monday, but after you read just a few sentences of Erin’s writing your Joy meter for the week will go up about 150%.  Joy is her jam.  She is a contagious Joy seeker dripping with the Love of Jesus.  During a normal week when I am fortunate enough to collide with my friend Erin I always leave our time together inspired, encouraged and built up with Joy.  Jesus is her anchor and His heart is evident in all she does. I am so happy to share her ministry with you on this happy Monday!}

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I’m so thankful and excited that Cari has given me an opportunity to share on her blog…and the fact that she asked me to write about joy…well, that practically sends me into the heavenlies.  It’s assuredly one of my most favorite topics in life!

I am, what some might call, a bit of a “joy junkie.” I like to spend a lot of my time noticing joy, and most often, sharing it with others.

While the Lord created me with a healthy dose of optimism to look for the bright side of things, please note that I’m not referring to “happiness,” but instead, joy. People often use them interchangeably, but I do believe there is an important distinction. Happiness is more dependent on our situation and circumstances. It’s situational and dependent upon how much we might be pleased at the moment.

Joy; however, is different, and here are three reasons why I get SO excited about it:

  • Joy is a GIFT from the Lord. (And it keeps giving!)

Joy came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. It was announced to us by an angel, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

Once we have this joy, it remains. It is a rejoicing in the knowledge of who He is, what He has done for us and the hope that we can count on every day of our lives because of His amazing grace and love for us. It’s one of the fruits of having a right relationship with Him and His Spirit indwelling in us. (Galatians 5:22) That essentially means that He does the heavy lifting. We just need to come to Him.

In our human, fleshly minds, it may seem an impossible thought that we can sustain joy. Without Him, we certainly can’t. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NLT), it is written, “Be joyful always,” so we know it’s possible through Him. It IS possible and sustainable. Having joy consistently is just one of the impossible things we can do through Christ.

  • Joy has POWER! ?

Joy has the power to overcome.  It’s greater than sadness. It’s the tiny bit of light that no matter how vast or how deep the darkness, can prevail. It is our strength when we are weak and can even make us stronger to the point that we lack nothing. (Woah!)

Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10) 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

The Lord gives us this powerful gift. It’s powerful, because it’s transforming. Joy has the ability to change our entire perspective. It gives us goodness to always cling to. It gives us light to see the hope that lies ahead. It is peace in times of trouble.

  • Joy is contagious – meant to be shared!!!

This is one of my most favorite characteristics of joy. It’s truly SO FUN to give it away! (And I’m certain we’re meant to!) ?

Have you ever passed by someone, intentionally making eye contact and smiling? Chances are they smile back. Even if they’re a stranger, there’s still an instant connection – something on a deep human level, something in the way God created us with a need to be known and loved. A simple smile can break down barriers and momentarily soften someone’s heart.

How many times does the Bible reference singing with joy, rejoicing, celebrating God’s goodness, provision and character? (Too many times to reference all the scriptures here, because Cari gave me a word limit…so here’s just one.)

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. (Psalm 92:4)

Friends, the joy of the Lord is cause for an all-out party! Who doesn’t want to come to that? It’s thrilling. It’s attractive. It’s something we’re all naturally wired to want more of.

Now imagine, if you went deeper than just that casual smile to a stranger. What if you spent more time and shared something as profound as the Gospel? If a smile can make an impact, what could happen with something as life-impacting as Jesus? The Gospel, after all, is GOOD NEWS…see that connection? Good news always leads to an increase in joy!

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:13-14)

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Is there any better way to MORE joy than MORE Jesus? No. He is enough. He is both the source and the sustenance of joy.

And He promises us joy today and in our future. Forever into eternity.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. (Psalm 16:11)

Now, that’s the greatest gift of joy there is! I pray you know it well and share it well. It’s why I love joy so much. It’s receiving the best that God has for us and loving him right back. Now and forever.

image2Erin Schreyer is a certified coach, speaker and blogger who is passionate about positive life change and Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible. She is also the co-host of the Flourish podcast for women on iTunes. Find and connect with Erin atwww.erinschreyer.com.

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