Three Steps To Joy! (And One Misstep)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4, ESV).

You can lose your joy!

Often, when joy is lost, you don’t know it. Some live years without joy. I’ve made it a habit to ask myself, “Do I have joy now?”

Let me share my definition of joy – daily peace and enthusiasm.

I lose my joy in many ways. From something simple like a sentence in an email, I think, “Why did the person say that?” To something complicated like, “My house is on fire.” 

Ask yourself now, “Do I have peace and enthusiasm about my life today?”

In Philippians, the Apostle Paul teaches about joy, and he sums up this teaching by giving you a command, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” And if you were not reading Philippians 4:4 carefully at the beginning of this Interruption, Paul says to you, “Again, I will say, ‘Rejoice!'”

When I lose my joy, I use three steps to find it again.

First:  I discern.  

I find what has stolen my joy. Sometimes it’s obvious, like a scratch on my car. At other times, when I’m in a sullen mood, I ask God for insight. 

Often in my spirit, He tells me what it is, and sometimes I find it reading a passage of scripture during devotions, but too often, someone has to tell me!!!

Second:  I confess that I need joy.

The word “joy” in the New Testament has the same root as “grace.” The mark of maturity in following Jesus is learning to receive grace and then give it to others.

Joy is supernatural. God’s gift of a risen Savior allows His Spirit to give us joy. It’s a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We don’t have to manufacture joy; we can ask God for joy. 

He freely gives us His Spirit.

Third:  I speak joy.

Realizing joy is supernatural, Paul commands us to rejoice. I have difficulty changing my feelings of discouragement, but I can still praise God. Paul gives us an example of this sacrificial joy …

Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice (Philippians 2:17).

Discern, Confess, Speak – three steps to joy!

Last week, I arrived at my office at about 6 a.m. to write an Interruption. 

A couple of firemen were outside the building, talking to the owner of the building. A fireman said that the owner had entered the elevator and was then trapped when the elevator lost power.

The owner called the fire department for rescue, and while en route, the firemen came upon flames shooting out of a manhole cover in the street outside our building. Yes, they stopped to put out the fire, and yes, they forgot about the building owner stuck in the elevator.

I arrived soon after they remembered and rescued the building owner.  

I entered the building and started my computer, and nothing worked. An electrical fire had caused the flames to shoot from the manhole cover and had also disrupted power to my office building.

Frustrating … joy lost … my writing timeframe spoiled. But as I was leaving to go home, I thought …

I usually come to the office an hour earlier than today. HHHHMMMHHM! If I had come an hour earlier, I would have been stuck in the elevator instead of the building owner.

I smiled – joy restored.

Life has minor and major problems. In all things, God works everything to His good. We always have a reason to rejoice.

Discern, Confess, Speak, and Repent!  

I’ve added the fourth step – a misstep – of “repent” for finding joy in the building owner’s mishap!

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