Choose Joy

During my sabbatical, I have invited Andria Stephens, who is a regular part of HCC and serves on the worship team, to write this week’s HCC Blog.

I headed to central Oregon with some friends for a Women’s Retreat a few months back. While there, I shared with a friend that for the past 8 months or so, I had felt a profound lack of joy.

This is not usual for me. In fact, I would say that joy has been a defining characteristic of who I am throughout my life. So this lack of joy deeply concerned me. Not able to pinpoint any one thing causing this, it was more a general sense of feeling “blah .”Almost numb. And I felt a weird sense of shame about it.

That night after confessing this to my friend, the worship leader referenced Psalm 34. I didn’t think much of it at the time as it was not a Psalm I was familiar with. But the following day, the Lord brought Psalm 34 to mind, prompting me to open my bible and see what it said. As I read, the words of verse 5 lept off the page to me.

“Those who look to Him are RADIANT with Joy; their faces will never be ashamed.”
-Psalm 34:5

In my conversation with my friend the previous day, I had said to her that I felt like I used to radiate joy…..that was the exact wording I used. RADIATE. I felt so seen and known by the Creator at that moment.

God revealed that my joy was missing because I had taken my eyes off of Him. My eyes were looking at the things and circumstances around me and allowing those to dictate my emotions and rob me of my JOY.

The Lord, in His kindness, reminded me of the truth, that joy comes when I keep my focus on Him alone. I felt that He gently held my face in His hands and said, “Keep your eyes on me. I’ll handle all of those things. Let my peace and joy radiate through you as you trust and follow me throughout your day.” Are you keeping your eyes on Him? 

One of the ways I keep my eyes on Him throughout my day is with worship music. Listening to and singing the truth of who God is and who He says I am, changes the atmosphere around me. Below is a link to a playlist of worship songs I am presently loving. CLICK HERE

Praying  JOY for you today!
Andria Stephens