Friends, I’m overjoyed to introduce you to my writer friend, Dawn Klinge, who blogs over at Above the Waves. Dawn has a new book that’s about to be released: Look To Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God (coming January 26th, 2016). Today she’s agreed to share some of what she has learned with us.
I’ve enjoyed and been encouraged by Dawn’s words countless times, so I’m sure this will be a treat for you all. Please make Dawn feel welcome by leaving her some encouraging comments.
What is your definition of joy? There’s one thing I know for sure; I want more of it. My definition of joy? That has been a bit harder for me to pin down.
The Bible has a lot to say about joy. The more I study the Word, the more I realize that joy is different than happiness. It’s a settled assurance, a quiet confidence, and a choice to trust God, no matter the circumstance. (Romans 15:13)
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. “Putting on” a fruit of the Spirit, through our own efforts, was once described to me by a friend as being, “just as silly as gluing a piece of wax fruit to a tree and expecting it to taste just as good as the real thing”. The production of fruit starts at the root. The root of joy comes from trusting Jesus.
I was trying to put a definition on the word, joy. Then I read this verse (emphasis added)…
First Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Joy is inexpressible and filled with glory. I take this to mean that joy is not something I’m going to be able to describe. It’s indescribable. Only those who trust in the Lord have this joy. If I want more joy, I need to, above all, seek Jesus. Joy will follow. That’s a promise.
We can use words like confidence, assurance, and glorious to describe joy- but we need to know that those descriptions barely skim the surface. Like a cold lake on a hot day, it’s best to jump in and experience it.
When we place our trust in Jesus, we will find joy. We will also continue to experience sorrow as long as we are on this side of Heaven. The two are inseparable. I love the way Kay Warren explains this in her book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough. She describes looking at train tracks into the brightness of the horizon,
“…the tracks become one. You can’t distinguish them as two separate tracks. That’s how it will be for us, too. One day, our parallel tracks of joy and sorrow will merge into one. The day we meet Jesus Christ in person and see the brightness of who he is, it will all come together for us. Then it will all make complete sense.”
I want joy, and I have found it, in following Jesus. When we say we want more joy, we can remember that He is where it’s found.
Jesus, we want more of you.
Dawn Klinge is the author of Look To Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God (coming January 26th, 2016). She writes about Christian faith regularly at Above the Waves, drawing on her experience as wife and mom to two. She holds a degree in education from University of Idaho. A pastor’s kid and a church girl her entire life, she’s still trying to figure out what it looks like to put her trust in Jesus. Dawn and her husband, Derek, live near Seattle, Washington. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.