For so long I have struggled with my body. The scale was not my friend. I battled my weight to try to fit into what the world told me I should look like. I was unhappy no matter how much I lost because it was never enough. I was self disciplined spending hours at the gym, I starved myself, cut out bread, dairy, sugar, carbs, etc. etc. etc. I would lose and gain, lose and gain, I couldn’t get free. I wanted to feel beautiful, to feel attractive, not just for myself but for my husband. I believe that if I didn’t look like the world said he didn’t really love me. Such lies. He constantly told me how beautiful I was, how much he loved me but yet I couldn’t believe it because I couldn’t see my own beauty. If you don’t love yourself you can’t fully allow yourself to be loved by others.
I wanted freedom so badly in this area and two years ago the Lord told me that freedom would come by His hand alone. I didn’t understand it at that point as I was still under the mentality that I had to do something to earn it. A few months back I stopped trying to be self-disciplined. I allowed myself to enjoy life, eating, drinking, and playing. I canceled my gym membership and opted to spend those hours enjoying my son. I did exercise, but only those activities I loved instead of what would burn the most calories. There was a small shift.
Then Daddy said when I was praying the other day that beauty and joy go hand in hand. He told me that you want beauty but you can’t see it without my joy. He said Julie, Joy is an inescapable gift of my spirit within you. Inescapable, wow. That means that no matter what I do or don’t do for that matter, I will not be able to escape it. It was His promise to me that He would bring about the change.
Joy is the greek word Chara which means:
Extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed, the awareness of God’s grace, favor
Joy is Grace Recognized
Luke 1:14-Speaking of Jesus: and he will be joy to you and gladness (exuberant joy, wild joy, ecstatic delight, exultant joy)
Amen I’m all for some wild, ecstatic joy aren’t you?
Luke 2:10-“And said to them the angel, not Fear; behold indeed, I bring good news to you of joy great, which will be to all the people.
Joy is for everyone (Jesus is Grace Recognized is for all)
John 16:14-Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive (lay hold of) so that your joy may be made full (filled to capacity)
When we ask and are able to receive (lay hold of), we then see God’s grace to us in action. Hence, then our Joy then is filled to capacity. However, even when we don’t know what to ask his promise to us is inescapable Joy because it’s His gift to us His promise to us through His Spirit he placed inside of us. He knows the desires of our heart and he will bring them to fruition. (Please don’t read this as I must do this before this can happen, that is not what I am saying, that is a work mentality.)
Joy is Grace Recognized
John 15:11-These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
We are God’s Joy; Jesus is in us, Grace Fully Revealed. Jesus is the revelation of God’s Grace.
Joy springs forth when we allow ourselves to see the true us, Jesus. We died with him and are a new creation, the Holy Spirit lives within us. When we see the beauty of our true identity that is brought about by God’s Grace, Joy overflows.