Jesus, your the center of my joy.
All that's good and perfect comes from you.
You're the heart of my contentment, hope for all I do.
Jesus, you're the center of my joy.
(From "The Center of My Joy" by Richard Smallwood)
Strange reference for a Good Friday, I know.
But there's a reason we call it "Good".
The Good of this holy day lives in the context of Christ's absolute and complete holiness.
"All that's good and perfect comes from you."
Have you ever smiled as you cried tears of sorrow?
On that day, Good and Perfect was stripped,
and gasping for air
so our hearts might be content and our joy complete.
Only in Jesus can we truly understand joy AND pain.
I've been in a maze of highs and lows this week, but remembering His sacrifice has convicted and centered me.
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
His forgiveness of me wrestled with me until I apologized to someone who didn't deserve my harsh words.
I was "off center" until I submitted not to the person, but to the Cross. She was just the beneficiary of His absolute holiness whispering to me as He hangs between two thieves.
We are not worthy of His joy, and yet, when we are obedient to the Cross, we become worthy to receive His joy.
We can cry AND smile.
The world didn't give this to joy/pain paradox to us, and the world can't take it away.
I apologized to please a hanging, crucified, bloody Jesus and the peace that came afterwards was my confirmation that the joy of the Lord is my strength.
It is the heart of my contentment.
The hope for all I do.
Lord, I hope my apology pleased you.
Most times, we choose to reserve our joy for Resurrection. But joy was at the Cross, too, sprouting up from the hard ground of Golgatha's hill.
Joy despite our wrongdoing...
"Today you will be with me in paradise." ~Luke 23:43
Joy when we feel abandoned and lonely...
"Woman, behold, thy son! Behold, thy mother!" ~John 19:26, 27
Joy after a hard fight.
"It is finished." ~John 19:30
Joy when we let go and let God.
"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." ~Luke 23:46b
The joy of the Lord shines brightest in the dark.
Today is a GOOD day.
So, shine a bright light on the Cross and all the joy and pain that comes with it.
"Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy." ~John 16:20
You know greater is coming, right?
You know there is a bright side somewhere, right?
Don't you stop until you find it.
Father, I pray that today as we look to a rugged cross we see your goodness and anticipate your glory. Let the whispers of your son, Jesus, from the cruel tree prick our hearts so that our joy might be complete. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
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See you then!
In the meantime, take care.
Look like LOVE.
WRITER | MENTOR | TEACHER
LOVER OF CHOCOLATE |
PURPOSED TO EMPOWER |
30+ YEARS IN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP |
PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL
Phillipa also the Founder of ilooklikeLOVE, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization providing diaper assistance to families in need and opportunities for mothers to empower themselves.
Look for her upcoming book,
GOD n You: Finding Your Place in Forever.