I've Got the Joy...Down in My Heart

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”  Ephesians 1:3
Can you hear these precious little girls:  “Oh, Martha, you look divine!”  “Why, thank you, Dear!  When your curlers come out, you’re going to have simply marvelous hair!”  “Betsy, those Blue Polka-Dots are ALL the rage!”  “Oh, do tell!”  From the time we’re little girls, we know we’ve been wired for fun!  Just watch young ladies make believe, squeal, and laugh with unrestrained joy - holding nothing back! 

Ladies…WE ARE those little girls…all grown up! What happened to us? Let me ask you: when did you last laugh? (Just now, I hope?!) Before that...? Are you feelin’ full of JOY these days? Or not...

Now that we’re all grown up, our days - our lives - are filled with responsibilities, worries, struggles…and sometimes strife and suffering.  We live in a sinful, fallen world; days are often heavy or at least hum-drum.  A smile - a little laughter - can lighten and brighten our days. The ability to laugh - to find joy and delight in the midst of what otherwise could be a drab existence or a painful place - is a gift from God! 

We are daughters of our heavenly Father, chosen in Christ, and we have been empowered with JOY and LAUGHTER! That's right. We are plugged-in to the life-giving power source of Christ! (Wow! Do you realize what that means?!)

Let me ask you another question: have you Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in Your Heart?  The answer is YES! You’ve got it, ‘cause He put it there! And He put it there to stay! (Are you humming the tune to this classic Sunday School song yet?!) Know that you have been chosen by God in Christ, and you possess this JOY! (Whether you're currently feelin' full of joy or not!) Christ has gifted you with salvation through faith by grace, purchased for you by His death and resurrection.  The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your heart; you are filled with the Spirit's POWER, and He is at work in you! You bear His fruit... “The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace…”  (Galatians 5:22) 

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”  Job 8:21 Laughter and joy are found together in scripture multiple times!  Both are gifts from God.  While laughter is not required of someone who has "the joy down in [her] heart,” it often flows from joy as a response. “A glad heart makes a cheerful face…”  Proverbs 15:13a 
God also gives each of us our unique, ultra-special personalities, and included in those customized packages is, to varying degrees, a sense of humor.  In the next few weeks, I would like to explore a bit more about joy AND laughter. For now I’ll begin where good, clean, wholesome laughter starts: JOY!

Please don’t confuse “joy” with “happiness”. Happiness depends upon circumstances; joy is ours despite our circumstances. We cannot invent or fake this joy; it is ours in Christ, a POWERFUL fruit that flows out of faith. Make no mistake, we are justified (saved) by faith alone. But here comes our part: what do we do daily with the JOY we’ve been given?  We make a choice every day (even minute by minute) whether to smile or frown, whether to bubble over with the joy inside or lock it up for no one to see.  We are empowered by His Holy Spirit, so how are we going to bear His fruit & share His joy? To start, we can...

Have an Attitude of Gratitude! 
Though I do not know what realities – what circumstances – you face today, I can tell you this: you are blessed. (Check out Ephesians 1:3 at the top!) And by the strength of the Spirit, you can possess an attitude of gratitude in any and every situation. “Be joyful always…give thanks in all circumstances…” I Thess. 5:16,18  Whether you realize it or not, your cup DOES overflow.  Begin to see the blessings in the big things AND in the little things: 

Breathe in; then slowly exhale. (Go ahead…) See, God just gave you another breath...another moment of life! Look back upon the past several days. Remember the kind clerk at the store, the fellowship of loved ones in your life, the delicious foods you love to savor? Reflect on the changing of the seasons, God’s continual provision of your needs, and above all, the faith He has instilled in you to know that Jesus is Lord and He is Risen! He is bigger than any painful or difficult circumstance you face today. And He has chosen YOU…and appointed you to go and bear fruit (see John 15:16) that the world may see Christ living in You as you bubble over with His JOY!  

And this is just a start…stay tuned for more ways in which we bear His fruit and share His joy…and maybe even laugh a little.

Take a moment to write down FIVE blessings for which you are thankful and in which you respond with JOY, by the power of the Spirit! Share them, please...


  1. Writing our blessings provides such a visual picture of God's crazy love for us. Beautiful words. Thanks sharing that great reminder here!

  2. First, I sought you out because I'm almost done reading your "Beautiful Feet" devotional, which I received at our fall women's retreat. (I've been reading it slowly to savor the words) It has brought me great joy as my husband & I are backpackers so our feet are essential.

    Second, I read the one called "Tickle the Toes!" yesterday, and it made me laugh. So, reading "I've got the joy..." on your website reinforced God's message for me to laugh more, laugh harder and count His great blessings bestowed on me each day.

    Third, I don't know why you weren't the retreat speaker as you just live up the road from us (our church is in Lincoln, NE).

    I looking forward to following your blogs and checking out more of your published work.

    1. Merrie, your words put a spring in my step today! I am tickled pink that you have been savoring "Beautiful Feet" and can relate each word to your "walk" in unique and wonderful ways with your backpacker feet!

      Isn't our Lord amazing, how He brings a variety of things together to reinforce a special message He has for us. I pray for you today, Merrie, that you would laugh with unrestrained JOY, counting His blessings...

      How exciting that you are just up the road in Lincoln! Perhaps the Lord has plans for us to connect. :) I pray that you are blessed and encouraged as you follow my blogs. I look forward to following YOURS!