February 07, 2017

A Joy Journey by Glynis Belec

JOY! Oh how I love that word. I love to write about joy. I love to speak about joy. I love to be joy-filled and most of all I love to share it with others.

I find true joy in writing when I have an idea and it suddenly springs into story. That’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

Remember that lovely Sunday School song, "I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my Heart"? I still have to jump up or at least clap to that one when I hear it!  It’s the last line in the second verse, though, that I like the best—‘I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart’.

Often we think of joy and happiness together. They are sisters/synonyms, according to the dictionary! But really, to me, true joy is not about having someone say ‘jolly good’ in response to something I wrote. Nor is it when I get that acceptance email from that editor. And believe it or not, it isn’t joy when I get to sign the contract and I receive that cheque for the advance on my book (sigh). Although those all feel like joy Those are wonderful things but they create happiness not joy.

Happiness is temporary. In other words it depends on the external - things outside of me. Whereas true joy in Jesus is permanent – and depends on my internal, or heart relationship with Him.

So when rejection comes or Writer’s Block introduces herself, or maybe I can’t write because something else is pressing, calling, demanding—it’s hard to feel happy.

But then I remember James 1:2 – “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” [NLT]
Joy cannot go away once we invite it in and I believe that is because joy is not a feeling, it is a knowing. A knowing that I have Christ with me no matter what happens. Joy gives me power to proceed and plod on even though I might feel a little deflated. Praying is always a good way to reignite joy that might seem absent. So is cracking open the Bible and seeing what God has to say about not promising a perfect life (or writing career). That’s a great encouragement to me and makes me realize that when I don’t get the assignments or the sales or the opportunities that I see others getting, it doesn’t mean that I am receiving less of a blessing than someone else. It means I must hang on and wait and see where God will use me or what door He will open for me. In the interim, because of that anticipation, I can find joy and live joy and write joyfully.

Recently, I came across my old Joy Journal. Circa 1999! Ha. Loved some of the quotes and my responses in there. Reminded me how far God has brought me on this joy journey. I have my plans. But better yet, God had His and still does, and that sort of news sure brings a smile to my face and a rekindling of real joy in my heart (right down to my socks).

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13


  1. Thanks for this uplifting blog, Glynis. Planning for my own blog, I was also thinking of the vintage chorus, I've got the joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Remember how some singers asked, "Where?"

    I so agree with your explanation of the difference between happiness and joy. Thankfully, we can have that permanent joy that, as you say, ". . . gives (us) power to proceed and plod on even though (we) might feel a little deflated." (Parentheses are mine. Just putting it in first person for myself. You are a great example, Glynis, of a person with joy.)

  2. I enjoy going back to my old journals, too, and seeing how God has broguht me through variosu things or answered prayer. It brings 'joy'!

  3. I always find joy down in my heart whenever I read your uplifting words, Glynis. There are always days when I feel discouraged, but then I open my Bible to find encouragement from God's Word: "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD" (Psalm 31:24 NIV).

  4. I was so glad you emphasized the difference between happiness and joy, Glynis, becaue people sometimes get them mixed up. Thanks for reminding me that joy comes with reading God's word and praying.


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