Interrupted Joy

Jackie was cruising through her morning. Her spirits were up. She was accomplishing exactly what she had planned.

It was a good day.

Until her boss stopped by. A single, cutting remark brought her sprits – and her day – crashing down.

With tears welling up, she hung her head low over her desk. It was embarrassing. Her boss was critical. Besides, the remark wasn’t true.

A thousand miles away, in his office, Jim was making last-minute preparations for a big meeting. He had a couple seconds, so he decided to check his email.

Mistake.

There sat a message from his boss. And it wasn’t good. In fact, the news was so bad that Jim’s attention shifted entirely away from his upcoming meeting. His emotions were rattled. His day quickly collapsed.

What do Jackie and Jim have in common? For both of them, they were working in a spirit of joy when, suddenly, they were wounded by someone’s words.

I call this “interrupted joy.” It came out of nowhere.

There’s a good chance you’ll face someone or something that will interrupt your joy today. How you handle it will determine how you feel on the other side of that interruption. It will be a test of the depth of your walk with God.

The key is to be prepared before the surprise hits.

I think you’d agree that our joy shouldn’t be dependent upon our circumstances. In reality, though, it’s hard to live that way.

You can prepare for interrupted joy. Can I suggest a great practice someone recently taught me?

Think of a trigger word that points you to Jesus when your joy is interrupted. For instance, mine might be “beatitudes.” This reminds me of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. My mind instantly goes there and considers the words Jesus spoke.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . blessed are the merciful . . . blessed are the pure in heart.” (Matthew 5:3, 7, 8 NIV)

I can have the passage memorized or carry it with me on an index card. Better yet, I can have it ready on my phone.

I find that as I go directly to God’s Word, I rebound from the surprises and shocks. My joy returns more quickly. Sure, I may not bounce back in an instant, but I do recover.

God’s Word has a way of giving us his view on things. We gain an eternal mindset. Once we acquire God’s thoughts, the thing that upsets us doesn’t have such an impact.

What will your trigger word be today? Where will it take you into hisWord to keep that joy flowing?

(From Jon Fugler’s new devotional, Your Life With God: 30 Days of Joy. Available on Amazon)

Jon Fugler
TWR – Chief Content Officer

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