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You’ve Got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in Your Heart!

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And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:11

“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” – Brother Lawrence

 

  • Let the Holy Spirit minister to you today. He longs to tell that God completely loves you. He sees your deepest need and will answer the cries of your heart. Remember, you are an overcomer through Him!
  • Grab your Bible, journal, and a pen, and go to your favorite place where you meet with Jesus. Take along something delicious to drink. Read Romans 8:1-17.
  •  Write Romans 8:11 onto three sticky notes. Put one on the mirror in your bathroom, one in your car, and one by your kitchen sink.

You’ve got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in Your Heart!

Do you ever wake up in the morning just wanting to stay in your warm, comfy bed because you feel you have nothing but an endless amount of work to look forward to and your life is unimportant? Are you overwhelmed, and no longer have joy in your heart as you go about your day? Do you want to change your feelings about your life but feel inadequate and powerless to do so?

I confess that my bed, blanket, and pillow often feel more welcoming than my true life reality. I have seven wonderful children, five still at home, and lots of work to do every day — day in and day out. It can be very overwhelming at times. Even the simplest of duties, like fixing my bed, or washing the dishes & laundry can inundate me. I can get down and discouraged. Sometimes I find myself wanting to give in to these carnal feelings and thoughts of self-pity and depression.

How do we receive joy from God? Galatians 5:22 says that joy (among others) is a Fruit of the Spirit. So if the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts (Romans 8:11), joy already dwells in us, it is already present! That means even when we are not feeling it, we have the ability to “turn it on.”

But how do we do that?

The next couple of verses in Galatians 5:24-25, Paul talks about crucifying our flesh (our old affections & lusts) and living and walking in the Spirit. Our feelings are just that. Feelings. Our feelings or emotions that have not surrendered to the lordship of the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted. They are fleshly and carnal. Deep down inside of us, where the Holy Spirit dwells, we have the power to say no to any emotions that aren’t of God.

Joy is a choice. Just like we pick out what clothes to put on every day, we can pick joy. This is how we walk in the Spirit! We have the ability to choose what kind of an attitude we have every day because we have access to all of His Fruit, all the time! So no matter how depressed or discouraged we may feel, we have the power to turn those feelings around and be encouraged. Isn’t God good to give us the power to do that?!

Choosing joy is what gets me up in the morning. When those overwhelming feelings hit me, I hit the Holy Spirit reset button. Knowing that I have the power, gives me hope and joy for the new day ahead. It is a surrendering of my will and flesh and being obedient to His Spirit. It is not always easy, but God is always faithful. Never once has He let me down when I draw from Him, but it is my choice to choose Him.

My dear sisters, let’s put into practice this ability to live and walk in the Spirit. Next time we wake up feeling depressed, a child is being difficult, or the duties of life overwhelm us, let’s choose God’s way. Let’s choose joy. Whatever we do, we can bring God into it, and when we do, we are an overcomer. Romans 8:14 says that if we are led by the Spirit, we are His children. How beautiful!

Questions to ponder

  • Nehemiah 8:10 says, “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Do you feel like you have lost your joy in the Lord in any area of your life?
  • What steals your joy? What areas of your life lack joy? What are the causes? Are you overwhelmed, burdened, fearful, anxious, prideful, angry, or harboring any unforgiveness towards anyone?
  • Write a prayer asking for forgiveness and help to overcome these areas of your life where you have lost your joy.

(Note:  Your feelings of depression, discouragement, and weariness could simply be due to your particular season in life. When we have small children in our homes, it’s so easy to become discouraged and sour. These are the wonderful times in our lives where we get to rely on the Lord moment by moment. Remember, God wants us to depend on Him for everything, so when you are overcome with the difficulties in your particular season, and having to depend on God for help, you are exactly where He wants you to be. The Lord is with you!)

Faith-Filled Idea

This week, practice waking up FOR your children instead of waking up TO your children. There is a difference.

When we wake up TO the children, they are an intrusion. All we can think about is staying in bed, or having a moment of quiet while they are so excited to greet us and start their days. Our days start to become all about simply making it through the day until we can finally put the children to bed.

When we wake up FOR our children, we get up a few minutes before the children to have some time with the Lord- to focus on Him, pray for His help and energy to be the best mom we can be for our children in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to savor the day with our little ones. When the children arise, we are happy to see them and have our hearts ready and look forward to the day with our children.

Do you see the difference?

 

We would love to hear from you! What do you wish you would have known as a younger mom?

Mari Jo Mast

Mari Jo Mast

Mari Jo, her husband Kim and family left everything that was familiar to them 13 years ago to move to beautiful Colorado.They live on a mini-farm which includes Snickers (a small Yorkie-Poo), arooster named Cracker Jack, and 23 chickens who supply them with fresh eggs every day! It is their desire to allow all 7 of their children to live outside of the box, to pursue Jesus and follow their God-given desires for His greater purpose. Two are happily married to spouses who are greatly loved. They have a sweet little Grandson and a little Granddaughter will be added this summer!

Mari Jo had an encounter with the living God in 2000, and was freed from the bondage of legalism. She is passionate about Jesus and his love, and desires for everyone to know He is alive!
Mari Jo Mast

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12 Comments

  1. Love this MariJo! Thank you!

  2. This is SUCH a POWERFUL study and spoke right into my situation. THANK YOU MARI JO!

  3. What an encouragement to me this morning!! Joy is a choice…hanging onto that and praying for the Spirit to lead me today!!!

  4. I learned so much from this study MariJo! Thank you so much for writing and sharing the value of joy! And I love this comment you shared by Brother Lawrence: “We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” I love how he loved God! I want to love God that way! I love his book, “The Practice of the Presence of God”!

  5. Ideas that stuck out to me. “it is my choice to choose Him”
    “focus on following the and the “doing” is seeking the H.S. versus, getting stuck in “doing ” things in my own power.

    #5 wake up “for” your children, not “to” your children. What a great way to word it, such wisdom! I shared this with my husband. It helped me to put words to things I experience.

    Feedback ?:

    To breathe easy. As a new or young mom, we are often anxious and busy trying to get it all right. What I worried about with my first child, I wish I had not worried about, and don’t with my fourth child. Some of that comes with experience. But knowing that so many of our children’s needs, God works out over time, would have helped me to slow and wait, and seek Him. Ask for wisdom and patience, but there is a lot of waiting and letting go of. Then you have more freedom to just live and enjoy your kids, as you know you have entrusted them to His care, trust Him and let go of more. Be intentional with what He gives back to you and shows you need to be addressed through your heart, His word, and prayer.

    Sarah

  6. I wish I had known to read out loud more to my children. There are so…. many benefits. If affects our children emotionally (drawing us closer to them), mentally (increased comprehension skills and vocabulary), spiritually (especially Christian biographies and missionary stories), and physically (gives our kids a time out from the hurried pace we live with much of the time).

    • I agree Lisa! You are such an awesome mama! I love how you always are constantly encouraging other moms to be excellent with their children! I am so thankful for you!

    • Oh I am so with you Lisa! I wish I had known too…but maybe it’s not too late! We can ask God to multiply our time with our kids and read to them yet today! 🙂 Thanks for your input!

  7. Great job Mari Jo! I love how you always encourage all of us moms in our faith. You truly have one of the most amazing faith filled life of anyone I know! I am so encouraged by your friendship! Thank you for writing for the Help Club moms! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your constant encouragement and friendship Deb! And you’re welcome, it’s been a joy to partner with you! 🙂

  8. Hi Deb!
    Mari Jo really hit the nail on the head with the flesh VS spirit discussion. Taking every thought/feeling captive to our God and choosing to draw near to Him changes everything! I’ve totally experienced it and have been so blessed to see & sense the Holy Spirit working in my life because I chose to draw near to Him and hear His whispers. I also really like the faith-filled idea of waking up FOR my children. I really love the meaningfulness of the differentiation between TO & FOR in this idea.

    Hmm, as a younger mom, I was so driven & hurried & pressured. I always felt like I’d lost my life. I wish I’d had Mari Jo’s words from last week’s study on Children, so I’d slow way down & appreciate the gift that my stage of life really was. I also wish I’d known the Holy Spirit, and not listened to the feelings, emotions, pressure, thoughts, etc… that I was listening to.
    Thanks for this great study!
    Kristi
    PS- “carnel” in the Galatians 5:24-25 paragraph; and in the 4. Questions to Ponder section, I can’t tell, but there might be too many spaces between words a couple times- “Lord in” & “you have”

    • Thank you so much Kristi for your thoughts and input! I’m glad you’ve chosen to draw near to the Holy Spirit to hear him! He is so so faithful! I also have struggled with feeling hurried & pressured in my everyday life. But I’m so thankful for a patient God who knows our heart and changes our desires to mesh with His, as we get to know him better. Blessings to you!

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