There is nothing more discouraging to me as a believer than to witness other believers look like Eeyore all the time. Who wants to know what kind of joy you have been given in Christ when you look like this all the time? Jesus came to give us His Joy, a joy the world DOES NOT know and this is how we look? We have discredited the ministry of Christ when we live our lives by our feelings. And our feelings are reflected in our facial expressions.
I am happy person. I smile a lot. I always have. I laugh a lot. I like to joke around. I love to be silly. I feel happy when things go my way and sad when they don't. But that's not joy. That's happiness. And happiness is fleeting. It changes like the wind because happiness hangs it's hopes on circumstances. And circumstances change.
As I have grown older in my faith with the LORD, the reason why I smile a lot is because I love Jesus. He has given me HIS Joy in my heart. The more time I spend with Him, the more I smile because I understand what I have been given through Him. I want others to know. To be encouraged. I think of my face like a mini mission tool to share the love of Christ through a smile. When I smile, it is because God has saved me, given me a new name through the blood of Jesus Christ, and I have a new home- heaven one day will be my reality. I smile because I understand that no matter what I may be going through, I have Jesus with me through every trial, every circumstance, every joy and every disappointment. I smile because I want to encourage others. God has given me an opportunity to smile to a LOST, DYING, HOPELESS world. And most non-believers don't smile. But they love to receive a smile.
A True JOY StoryRecently, as I was checking out at my local pharmacy counter, the pharmacy tech blurted out, "Why do you smile all the time?" Quickly, I said, "It's Jesus. I smile because I know and love Jesus." I came to understand that whether or not I think about it, people make judgements based on the countenance of my face.WOW! They really do!!!! But you may say, "Ashley, that is not my personality." It doesn't matter if you are outgoing or not, a smile is one way you can bless others you come in contact with. Over time, they notice the consistency of your mood. They notice that something is different...... because most people DON'T smile.
Read the following description about the face according to "The Dictionary of Bible Themes"
The main visual characteristic of a person. Facial features are recognisable as uniquely those of a particular person. The face also indicates mood and attitude. The showing or directing of the face towards someone or something may indicate regard, approval or determination, while hiding or turning away of the face indicates the opposite.
(Source: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exod.34.29-Exod.34.35)When we don't smile, when we turn our face away quickly from others, we indicate that we don't like someone, we are avoiding them, or we don't value them. This is not what many believers want to portray, but it's what they portray to others when they turn their face away from others. You discredit your ministry quickly.
Notice the way the Bible describe the face of Moses (Exodus 34:29).
Moses' face looked radiant because he had talked with the LORD. He had seen the LORD.
Theologian Matthew Henry said this about the face of Moses in Exodus 34:29:
"It was the effect of his sight of God. Communion with God, First, Makes the face to shine in true honour. Serious godliness puts a lustre upon a man’s countenance, such as commands esteem and affection. Secondly, It should make the face to shine in universal holiness. When we have been in the mount with God, we should let our light shine before men, in humility, meekness, and all the instances of a heavenly conversation; thus must the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, even the beauty of holiness, that all we converse with may take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus, Acts 4:13." (Source: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+34:29&version=NIV1984)Dear sister, does it look like you have been with Jesus? Does your face reflect the time spent with Jesus?
I like what Pastor John MacArthur has to say about Joy:
"...joy is a confidence built on relationship. Now that test can never be objective for a Spirit-filled Christian because a Spirit-filled Christian possesses joy. And do you remember what I told you joy was? Joy is a gift from God to those who believe the gospel of Christ being produced in them by the Holy Spirit because they receive and obey the Word of God while experiencing trials and keeping their hope fixed on the glory which is to come." (Source: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/50-2/elements-of-joy-part-1)As I have grown older and grown in my Christian faith, it has become clear to me that there is one thing that Christians have that believers don't-the Joy of Jesus.
Consider the following verses,
Sharing the Joy of Jesus is being focused on sharing Jesus with others!!!!
Final Thoughts on JoyWhat does your countenance look like on a daily basis? Do you look people in the eye and smile and say "hello" and "thank you?" Or do you look like Eeyore, look like something is always wrong? Whether we like it or not, we have a ministry with our face. And if we want our faces to change, we have to spend time with the LORD in a daily quiet time. Seeking Him changes everything. The only thing that kills our joy is our unconfessed sin. If your attitude is always focused on what is wrong with everyone else, on how rude the world is or your boss or co-workers are, if you are focused on others ungratefulness, or what others have done to you, you are not yielding to the Spirit's control in your life. Sin is blocking your way and keeping you from being able to experience the joy of Jesus in your life because you are focused on everything else but Jesus.
How can you begin to reflect the Joy of Jesus? It's simple.
By spending time with Him.
I am praying for you dear sisters today and pray this message will be encouraging to your hearts this Monday morning.