This post is part of Margaret Feinberg’s party mob for her brand-new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy. To join the celebration (and learn more), click here. To grab a copy of this book, click here.
I recently had the opportunity to read a portion of Margaret Feinberg’s new book Fight Back With Joy as a part of a blog tour she is hosting to celebrate it’s launch. Margaret shares with the reader about how she began to consider and study the theme of joy in scripture and it’s providential timing as she learned she had cancer and would literally fight for her life.
As I read, engrossed in Margaret’s story, I found myself struck by one quote in the book. It reads:
This literally means that my very existence is because of joy. That thought stopped me in my tracks, because I think of joy as something I have not as something I am. I have always defined joy as a response to circumstances or something that comes and goes, but Joy is innate. It’s a reflection of my Creator in who I am.
This means regardless of circumstances or whether I’ve had a good or a bad day, I can have joy. While this may not be a complex revelation and was a freeing one to me. As a Christian I want my life to be marked by the image of Jesus which means I’d like for people to think of me as joyful. This is really hard for me when I just don’t feel joyful. In those times, when I’m tired, stressed or annoyed, being joyful is just one more task I don’t want to deal with. It’s one more thing to pressure me to be better, to resolve to be something, to highlight my inadequacies.
When I think about joy as something I am, that pressure disappears. Joy is no longer about what I am not or cannot do, but about who I am and Whose I am. That’s a freeing revelation. Joy is not about me. Joy is about Jesus.