Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sheltering with Defiant Joy!

There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other. ~Augustine


God's plan for all of us includes joy.  Have you ever met someone who is joyless -- the person who seems to find something negative in the best of blessings.  The one who says, "I can get a splinter sliding down the curve of a rainbow."

My mother is a joyous woman.  I never thought about it when I was young -- these things escape children because joy is taken for granted.  But as I have matured, I've watched her experience some tough situations.  Life things, physical problems, losing her mother, two grandbabies, a son-in-law, a best friend, and other pains of life.  Yet what I remember is the joy.

I think of my Heavenly Father and His joy.  Then I know why my mother is so joyful.  She knows grace.  God's grace -- the grace that is born out of God's joy.

Nehemiah shared that "the joy of the Lord is our strength."  Is it any surprise that those who live without joy merely seem to spin their wheels, accomplishing nothing, encouraging nobody and denying our joyous God the offer of exchanging their hurts for joy?

In 1871, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon titled, The Joy of the Lord, The Strength of His People. Spurgeon said"He is a God who cannot lie, faithful and true to his promise; he is all love, and at the same time infinitely just, supremely holy. Why, the contemplation of God to one who knows that this God is his God for ever and ever, is enough to make the eyes overflow with tears, because of the deep, mysterious, unutterable bliss which fills the heart."

Over 100 years later my own eyes overflow because of the same unutterable bliss that fills my soul when I contemplate my God who cannot lie, faithful and true to his promise; he is all love, and at the same time infinitely just, supremely holy.

But what happens when we're living life?  When the stock market fails or illness strikes?  "Joy in this world," says John Ortburg, "is almost always a joy in spite of something.  It's a defiant joy."  George Matheson expressed it well:

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.


Habakkuk knew about that defiant joy.  He said,

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.


I want that defiant joy.  

Though the van was totaled and the work car blew a tire, though my body is tired and pain dodges my steps, our soldiers are killed protecting our country and the Dow keeps losing points, yet will I rejoice in the Lord.  I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  GOD, the Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.

Joy, defiant joy. The joy I see encased in a bubble shining with the colors of the rainbow. The joy my mother demonstrated.  The joy flowing from my Heavenly Father.  

35 comments:

Annesphamily said...

Pamela this is so beautiful. I think your mom is an extra special lady. I like people who spread joy and happiness. Thank you for sharing this with me today. Anne

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Such encouragement, Pamela. I love that hymn.

Fondly,
Glenda

Clint said...

Spurgeon had a way with words, did he not?

And I am reminded of Paul's admonition that Grace is made perfect in suffering.

*^_^* said...

Beautiful! Awesome!
Thanks, Pamela! You make my day!

Ruth said...

Such great thoughts on joy!
I too, recognized the stanza from the song, Oh, Love that will not let me go. I looked up the other words to it, too, and was so blessed.
The Habakuk verses has and continues to come to mind as a point of reference. No matter what, I will take joy in the God of my salvation!
I loved the John Ortburg quote. I want that defiant joy also!

Sharon said...

This was so inspiring - and how I needed this vital message of encouragement today. Yes, defiant joy. I like the sound of that. Circumstances (and the enemy) will do everything to attempt to steal and destroy our joy. It is only in looking at the LORD - and His firm hand - that we can experience peace and joy in EVERY moment of every day - whether it be smooth or bumpy!

Thanks for the reminder!

GOD BLESS!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello dear Pamela,
I always get blessed when I visit you. My mother never showed me much joy but the young man who came into my life at seventeen did. So infectious was his joy that I fell in love with him and married him. God knew exactly what I needed and he gave it to me. God is so good and here am I, years later, filled with the kind of joy that just won't quit. Praise His name!
Love Spurgeon's writings and I love the verse from Habakkuk too. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
Sandi

Patti Hanan said...

Wow, defiant joy - I love that phrase. Yes, I want that defiant joy, the joy that does not depend on circumstances. Thank you for encouraging me today.

Shanda said...

I want defiant joy too; a joy beats all odds and smiles in the face of adversity.

Laura said...

Oh, Pamela. And here you are causing my eyes to overflow as well. Joy is such a mystery--it always makes me cry. This is a beautiful post. So, so lovely.

Nancy said...

What a legacy your godly, joy-filled mother has given you. That hymn is, too, one of my favorites. I sing often about tracing rainbows through the rain. And your take on the words of Habakkuk is excellent. Beautiful, Pamela.

A multi-dimensional life said...

Oh, yes, defiant joy! I want defiant joy! The Lord is my strength! Bless you, faithful friend. Your words always melt my heart and I greatly appreciate the joy that you bring into my life!

Bobbi said...

Great Spurgeon quote...have you heard of Barbara's The Week In Words meme at Stray Thoughts? This post would be perfect for that too!

L.L. Barkat said...

I'd take joy, defiant or not :) Your spirit is encouraging!

Thanks for that sweet comment over at Seedlings in Stone. Yes, I guess Mommas are public relations experts. :)

Jen said...

I think this defiant joy must come from undying hope.

Marydon said...

I did not know, Pamela. God bless you & her soul. It is one of the most difficult walks in life one can trod thru.

TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

Amy said...

Defiant Joy. You describe it so well. Thank you for this—I needed to read this today. Blessings.

Renee said...

Oh, I love this post! Beautiful and inspirational!! God has brought to my heart Neh. 8:10 three times now...when this happens I take notice. Your post brought it more to a place of understanding for me...
God bless.

Jen said...

A beautiful tribute to your mom and to the joy of the Lord that is our strength. ~ jen

Peaches Ledwidge said...

To show the beautiful side of someone is always beautiful. I like this post. There are many people who dwell in the land of negativity.

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog this morning and for your prayers, which led me to this post. What an encouragement and blessing you are to me. Just what I needed. I recognize some of the words to a song "Oh Love that Will Not Let Me Go".

Thank you for being obedient to the Lord and using your blog as a way to encourage others. Obviously you had a wonderful role model which you have passed to your children. ~ Abby

no spring chicken said...

The perfect word for today. For my husband. He was home for lunch and he agonized about his heart's condition and his refusal to feel joy in this moment. His frustration over his job and the cares of the world. We talked about the joy of the Lord and prayed. Thank you Pamela, for a timely word.

Blessings, Debbie

Charlotte said...

Thank you, Pamela, for spreading the joy. My mother had a hard life and many things to take away her joy but she was always joyful. I think this is one of the best blessings a parent can give a child. You're right. There is plenty of stuff to take away our joy. We need to be joyful in spite of adversity.
Blessings,
Charlotte

*****Shelly***** said...

First of all...I love the title of your blog! And secondly...I love this post. I am choosing joy with you! Thank you for your encouraging words tonight. Blessings, Pamela! :)

Deb said...

Where would we be without our joy in this old sinful world!! Great post!!!

Shore Girl said...

I love the hymn you posted - and have experienced that "joy in the midst of great pain" on several occasions. Only God can give that kind of joy!

Shannon@ Cozy Home Scenes said...

I also love this post and it's meaning for each of us. Your words are very encouraging,especially to those of us who struggle with why are things as they are. Thank you for sharing your joy. Shannon

Kimberly said...

I saw your post on my blog :) You should tell RB to pamper you :) I enjoy your blog! Have a good day!

LeAnn said...

Thank you so much for your thoughts on joy. I believe it all to be true. This was a lovely post.
Blessings to you and keep on enjoying the moments!

Stacie said...

You had me chuckling at the "rainbow splinters." And that Habakkuk verse has been a fave of ours the past couple of years; it is currently on our bathroom mirror. A great post filled with encouraging and challenging stuff!

dawnbright said...

Defiant Joy. I love it. Yes, I need to keep the faith and I love that you had such a wonderful example of this joy! God bless and if the car is totaled and the work car blew up,I hope next week is better for you my friend!

Shannon Milholland said...

What a beautiful thing for children to characterize a parent with - joy! Oh how I long to be a joy-filled mother!

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Pamela, Spurgeon, Habbakuk, Nehemiah...loved it all because you're helping us fix our eyes on GOD, The Only One Who can give true joy.

Karen said...

This was awesome! I posted about joy today at Lily Valley!

Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

LOVE this photo and Bible verse. :) Have a blessed week.

 
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