WHAT IS JOY?
Theme: Running the Race; Fighting the Good Fight
While running up Collins Hill Road one day, God gave me a definition. “Joy is the invisible material with which the nails of endurance are made.”
Say that a few times.
When God spoke that definition to me, I knew exactly to which verse he was referring:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Did you notice that I happened to be running up Collins Hill Road asking God to speak to me on this matter when He gave me that definition? Did you notice that Hebrews talks about running? Do you see how what we do and who we are is not merely physical? There’s so much more! God wants us to get deeper meaning and lessons out of seemingly ordinary circumstances, like running up Collins Hill. He’s such a wonderful teacher because He constantly gives examples and hands-on learning experiences in the middle of our seemingly ordinary everyday lives.
Joy is the invisible material with which the nails of endurance are made.
So often, people confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is based on what happens to you. If Jesus based his happiness on his circumstances He would have been devastated, depressed, and hopeless because it didn’t look so good; He was dying, nailed to a cross. And such is the case with us.
During our trials, if we base our happiness on our circumstances, we will be defeated and hopeless because things don’t look so good—with mere physical eyes. However, joy is the invisible material with which the nails of endurance are made! Just as Jesus knows, we also know the following:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
During this spring season, I encourage you to consider how your joy is made complete in Christ and Christ alone.
Also, I encourage you to run or walk in a local 5K with some fellow Warrior Moms. Or, find a mom who is not a Warrior Mom and invite her to become one! Chose a Scripture and focus on it for the entire race. I guarantee you will be renewed spiritually when it’s all over.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.