This is the next instalment in a year of guest posts on Joy as part of my year of focussing on joy (my one word for the year). This month we have a post from Ros Clarke, who I have chatted to in the online sphere for a while, and was delighted to finally meet her at last year’s Premier Digital Conference. I am also slightly jealous of her job 😉
It comes, if we are lucky, in the moments. We find it in snapshots of smiling faces. We grab at it in snatched seconds of pure happiness.
It’s overwhelming, all-encompassing, saturating every part of our being. It fills us and overflows from us.
And then it’s gone, as the worries of the world press in on us again.
Because we are surrounded by the enemies of joy:
It’s a wonder that we ever feel joy at all. And yet it is only when we can forget all these and be free that we ever experience pure, all-consuming, childlike joy.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
Paul considers joy to be something attainable for all Christians. Rejoice, he says! Rejoice in the Lord, always! Set aside your fears and failures, your anxiety and stress. Stop those destructive comparisons, and focus on the Lord.
The Lord is near and we may present him with all our concerns, our worries, our problems. In return, his transcendent peace will guard our hearts and minds.
In that peace, we can rejoice. We can find the joy that lasts longer than a moment. The joy which can outlast our troubles. The joy which transforms our lives.
Rejoice in the Lord. Always.
Again I say, rejoice!
Dr. Ros Clarke is the Online Pastor in the Diocese of Lichfield. She can usually be found hanging out on Twitter or Facebook, if she isn’t Instagramming her life or filming for Youtube…