My Joy journey connected me with others in both unexpected and unusual ways this past month. Despite sharing my One Word with family and a few close friends, posting on social media, and writing regularly here on the blog; branching out in conversation about Joy was rare. Without much effort on my part, I stumbled upon the power of joy filled conversations!
Posting my Joy discoveries on Instagram yields a few stray comments, but no real dialog. Occasional chats with colleagues, patients or patient family members provides additional commentary, mostly in the form of “opinion”.
The Lord, however opened the door for robust discussion on my One Word companion through the request for an interview with the express purpose of discussing my views on biblical Joy. Grateful for the opportunity of sharing a small part of my Joy journey, I received the unexpected blessing of beholding the power of joy filled conversations.
the multiplication power of joy
Preparing for the interview offered me the privilege of revisiting important stops along my Joy journey further aiding me in grasping all God taught me thus far. Engaging in discussion and answering provocative questions resulted in new Joy discoveries for both me and the interviewer.
I completely underestimated the benefit of exploring my One Word in the context of an interview.
Reinforcing lessons learned, embracing new Joy discoveries and wrestling with hard questions all combined in multiplying the Joy harbored within my heart. The more joy expounded in conversation, the more joy overflowed my heart. The Joy present at the beginning of the interview appeared meager in comparison to the Joy present at the conclusion.
Joy Filled Conversations inspire connection
The interview served as the impetus for pursuing other open discussions, further enlightening me on the power of joy filled conversations. Prior to engaging in exploratory discussion on my word friend, my communications consisted of one-sided declarations or expressed ideas.
While sharing elements of my Joy journey along with lessons learned enhanced my spiritual growth regarding joy, the one-sided nature of these expressions hindered the benefits of relational discourse in unleashing Joy’s full work.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
Open to the possibility of engaging others over my tiny word companion; surprisingly, the topic of Joy popped up in unusual ways. Discussions at work related to the health benefits of Joy, and an encounter with a stranger coming out of a cornfield while on a walk one day treated me to comments on the “joyful nature” of that particular day.
But my favorite involved an impromptu conversation with a young man unloading clothes for donation at a local community center.
Commenting on what he termed “my wild joy smile”, he knowingly smiled back and shared his recent release from prison and his overwhelming joy at the privilege of his job sorting clothes for the less fortunate.
JOy Inspires Hope
The Fruit of the Spirit is Joy: the settled assurance that God controls every minute detail of my life, working everything together for my good and His glory. Which ultimately manifests in a quiet confidence in God’s sovereignty lived out in every circumstance.
A life which displays Joy breeds hope. For true, steadfast, God given joy walks into the fire with confident, hope-filled trust in God, marked by words of praise and adoration for God, without knowing the outcome.
That kind of joy proclaims God’s excellent and glorious name, permeating the hearts of all who see and hear with the same hope-filled joy.
joy fullness overflows to others
The natural process of joy maturing within me, gives birth to a greater desire for loving others. Since joy is intrinsic to God’s triune nature, that means we have God’s joy dwelling within us a believers. His joy is our joy, because when we find God, we find the source and embodiment of all joy.
As I grow in my relationship and knowledge of Christ, I experience the fullness of Joy promised to those who abide in His Presence. (Psalm 16:11) As my joy enlarges, it overflows in service of love to others. His joy fullness pours forth through me enriching both me and those around me with a most wonderful, joyful love.
the power of joy filled conversations
Stepping into the vulnerability of relational conversation on the topic of my tiny One Word friend Joy, privileged me with a view of Joy’s beauties through the eyes of others. On one hand the enjoyment of a solitary journey with my word companion offers me intimate knowledge as the Holy Spirit tends its growth in my life. On the other hand, inviting others into my joy journey enriches both my joy and theirs.
Cherishing the power of joy filled conversations, multiplied my joy; forging deeper connections with others, inspiring hope and overflowing in loving service. All flowing in one eternal circle from the Source of all Joy through me to others and back again: a full circle of JOY.
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