Abiding Joy? Really??

Private worlds are swirling with circumstances that defy explanation. And now we can also add Covid-19 to the mix. It is still surreal to me.

The world as we know it fills the evening reports with disheartening news about the worldwide pandemic and the ways in which it is affecting our nation, our world!

We hurt for people we love, and those we don’t even know who are suffering. We are all grieving. We continue to intercede for all, yet sometimes the actual words don’t even form on our lips…just in our heart.

Friends, Jesus tells us that if our joy is IN HIM it is complete!

In John 15, Jesus is referring to himself as the true vine. In verses 9-11 he says this:

“I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you]. 10 If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.”

How in the world do you have ABIDING JOY amid all this pain? How is that possible? Can we remain in HIM?

Joy is not an emotion. It is like the reverse of happiness, which results from something that “happens” in our life. Joy is from contentment and satisfaction because of Christ. It does not come and go.

It is from the abiding in Christ that we can claim this joy.

John 16:20 tells us that it is steadfast in sorrow:

“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, that you will weep and grieve [in great mourning], but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”

2 Corinthians 7:4 tells us that we have triumph in tribulation:

“Great is my confidence in you; great is my pride and boasting on your behalf. I am filled [to the brim] with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in spite of all our trouble.”

Hebrews 10:34 says that it is lasting in losses:

“For you showed sympathy and deep concern for those who were imprisoned, and you joyfully accepted the [unjust] seizure of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, conscious of the fact that you have a better possession and a lasting one [prepared for you in heaven].”

It is abundant in affliction states 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7:

“You became imitators of us and [through us] of the Lord, after you welcomed our message in [a time of] great trouble with the joy supplied by the Holy Spirit; so that you became an example to all the believers in [a]Macedonia and in Achaia.

So how do I attain joy during all these swirling circumstances?

I must surrender. Throw up my hands and give up. I have to stop doing it on my own. Then I must become totally dependent on Christ. I must be obedient and rejoice in Christ.

Think of it this way….and while we “shelter in place” we can really understand it!

I abide in my home. I live in my home. I set up residence in my home. I go home to rest, for nourishment, for safety. I am comfortable in my home. It is not the house in which I live; it is the home in which I abide.

Can I abide in Christ in the same fashion?

I live IN CHRIST.

I set up residence IN CHRIST and His spirit. I go to Him for rest, for nourishment, for safety. I am comfortable IN HIM. HE is where I abide. And in abiding, I find JOY. Not a giggly, goofy, comical feeling, but a deep abiding joy.

The catch? I must CHOOSE JOY. It can be hidden from me if I allow it to be. Someone could kick me out of my home if I let them. Otherwise, I am here to stay!

And so is HE! Abide in that JOY.

If you have not moved into that home, it might be time.

Take care dear ones, stay safe and Abide in HIM!!

Tammy Allgaier is a retired special education teacher, current author, blogger and radio announcer for WBVN.

Most importantly, she is a grandmother to her beautiful granddaughter Norah. Oh yeah, and a wife to Alphonse of 40 years and the proud mom and mom-in-love to Austin and Brittany and Taylor and Brittany. And yes, you read that right, both sons married beautiful women named Brittany.

Oscar, their Westie, keeps the empty nest not quite as empty. After all these years of marriage, a few books and paintings later, they started their own website at apenandbrush.com, where they share their creative designs, books and encouraging blog posts. She has also has maintained a blog over the last seven years, “Encouragement for Today” at www.yelobrd777.com

She drinks too much coffee, loves to read and write constantly and loved Downton Abbey. Helicopter rides are now off the bucket list and on the as “often as possible” list, due to an early anniversary surprise from her husband.

Give her an ocean side seat or her back porch, a sunrise or sunset, some CCM, a good book and she is content. Not to mention she loves jeep’n and a whole lot of Jesus.

Tammy waited 25+ years to finish writing and publish a book that the Father had called her to write. “Peace in the Midst” Book 1 of the UNEXPECTED GIFT series was published November ’18 and “Seaside Change-A Novella w/Companion 30 Day Devotional and Discussion Guide” was published August ’19. “Take Heart” the second book in the UNEXPECTED GIFT Series is about to be published.

Fear stopped her all those years. Tammy knows that “fear is opposite of faith” and will continue to write, encourage others and fall more and more in love with Jesus.