Recently, I had a conversation with my husband about joy. I confided in him that lately, I seemed bereft of it. I’ve felt as if I was slugging along, trying not to be overwhelmed with the responsibilities of life and the noise of my home. Worse, I felt I was falling further and further away from the joy of the Lord. But then, a call came in.
A sister in Christ called me, and she was hurting and wrestling with – life. She was brokenhearted and discouraged. She confided in me about her struggles, and as I had the opportunity to come alongside her in faith and prayer, my weariness started to fade. As I loved on her, I remembered that I am loved. Love is a powerful tool. It brings healing to others, and through it, we, too, are made whole. When we experience and extend love, we encounter Christ – and true joy – not fleeting happiness, but joy. And joy can only be found in the Savior because HE IS JOY.
I reminded her that she is adored and that the Lord delights in her, and I was reminded that He also delights in me. As I allowed God to use me, He healed me.
Because the “joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Sometimes it might seem easier to focus on ourselves and the overwhelming busyness of life, but that’s not how God intends us to exist. God created us for relationships. We were created in His image to do His good work. And by doing His good work, we delight in Him. And when we delight in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) And who doesn’t desire joy?
There is joy in loving and serving others. There is joy in encouraging others. In Luke 4:18, Jesus declares, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free”.
Jesus came with a ministry to love, serve, and heal the brokenhearted, which means our ministry should also be loving, serving, and healing the brokenhearted.
Just as he sends us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, and heal the sick, he calls us to reach the broken and the hurting. So, I get excited about reaching the broken for Christ because I was broken, and God healed me. He sent incredible, mighty women of God to walk alongside me and love on me. And now I can be used in someone else’s “God healed me” journey.
And when I think about it – all I feel is joy