Who’s the Boss of Joy?

Posted: December 22, 2008 in christian growth

Here’s Day One of my JOY Study…it’ll give you a little idea of how it’s rolling along for me.  This is just a small portion of a three-page journal entry, there’s just so much to be discovered in all these scriptures about joy.  I’ll post the reading for the rest of the week on the page marked JOY (soon) and then you can start your own wonderful journey to a transformed mind.  This study is quickly changing my life, so…yay, Joy!

Finding Joy – Day One

READ: I Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 12; Psalm 16:4; Proverbs 29:2

Key verses: I Chr. 12:38; I Kings 1:39 & 40

Key principle: Joy comes from living under the right leadership.

Thoughts:  When I know that I am going to represented, respected and protected by my ruler, my life really can’t go wrong.  I get to walk in safety and security.  If I think that my leader is incompetent – or worse – corrupt, then my peace will almost immediately vaporize.  Without peace, joy is going to be nearly impossible to find.

The identity of my leader – and the depth of my trust in him – is going to determine so much about whether or not I have joy in my life.

I’m so grateful today that my life does not rest in the hands of the Democrats or Republicans.  I pray for our president and leaders, but – ultimately – I am living under the rule of the great King of all.  He is my shepherd; leading and providing and loving me to safety and success.  He is my counselor; sharing wisdom and insight for times of doubt and confusion.  He is a King who can be trusted.

I have to wonder:  if I am discouraged and groaning under the weight of my circumstances, have I really truly set Him in as leader over my life?  If joy is elusive and difficult to nail down, it’s generally not because of the president or my boss at work or my husband or anyone else with authority in my life – it’s because I have set myself in as ruler and king.  And I am seriously unqualified for the job.

For me, today – Day One of this pursuit of JOY – I am blasting the trumpet and announcing the appointment of a King.  I am setting Him into authority and asking Him to create a safe, peaceful and prosperous land out of my life.  I am promising not just to follow and obey – but to love and communicate with Him.  I am committing to real relationship with my real ruler.

And I hope that people far and near can hear and see my good news.  I hope that the land around me resounds with the noise of His victory in my life.

Long live the King!

  1. Annie K says:

    Bo, I can’t wait to get the rest of the study! Merry Christmas friend!

  2. Jen Hoffmann says:

    Can I ask a technical question??
    The study on joy is a much needed and timely one for me indeed, but I also have a desire to learn a few things on the art of personal Bible Study…things you obviously have a thorough grasp on. Do you mind if I poke around your habits a little?
    The technical question…how did you choose these particular scriptures for a study on joy?

  3. Thank you for sharing!!
    Merry Christmas and God Bless!!

  4. Branden says:

    Dear Bo,
    I had to withhold from shouting AMEN! upon reading this blog due to an abundance of sleeping children in our house:) Also, your words of joy have been heard and absorbed and hopefully will blast from my trumpet and spread like wild fire and then who knows what!

  5. bolovesjoe says:

    Jen – I started with a pretty straight forward and very brief word study. I lined up all the scriptures on JOY on a spread sheet and went through and just got the background and the most obvious key principle/application (though that’s what real study is for so LOTS more will come out as you go…the initial word study is ONLY for grouping purposes). Then I did a basic and very rough grouping of the scriptures/stories into what I thought would be a day-sized devotional reading and made a list for 30 days (which gets me through the NT on Joy but only to the end of Psalms in the OT, so I’ll have to add some days). That first little project took several hours, but it set up my 30 days in a way that would make sense and it let me eliminate some scriptures because they’re repeats or not key or whatever.

    Then – armed with my Bible, journal and a few basic study tools – I started in on the first day. Two of my three scriptures for that day worked together and one had a different angle on joy. I journaled on all of it and then I made a NEW reading plan which will be the final and it is ordered by key principle rather than sequentially (“Joy and Obedience”, “Joy in the middle of Trouble”, “Joy vs. Fear”, etc.). SO – for Day One I put the first two scriptures, but I put the one that didn’t fit into it’s own day and I’ve added things that fit with that one as I go. As the week progressed, I found other scriptures that fit well with Day One, so I added those in. The “final” project will be a reading plan that lets me read not just about JOY but about the way the Bible agrees on Joy…principles that move through both Old and New Testaments and tie together the whole Word of God rather than isolating bits of it (for instance, David talks about Joy in the amazing Psalm 16 and then Peter preaches out of that very Psalm on the Day of Pentecost – why’d he pick that one to use for the biggest sermon of his life?). This study has SO MANY great verses and stories, that I think the whole of it will allow me to walk all the way through the story of God – from the beginning of creation to the end of revelation and see the role that JOY plays in it and in me. But that’s why it’s taking me longer to put the reading list up on my blog – I’d like to sift through a lot of these logistics for people so they don’t have to…I love to do it and I know many people just don’t.

    Wow. That’s long. But there was no short way to say it. 🙂 These studies can be arduous but they’re SO worth it.

  6. bolovesjoe says:

    Branden – LOVED your comment…and glad you’re refraining from the trumpet blasts until the babies wake up! 🙂

  7. Jen Hoffmann says:

    *sigh* (big happy content sigh full of anticipation of good things, that is)
    Thank you Bo. 🙂 That was like a Christmas present on Christmas Eve. I expected your answer to be short and quick too. I actually read through it and didn’t quite follow…which means…yay, something to learn. So, I’ll re-read, slower and see if I can figure out how to do what you just did and all in all, I’m very excited to follow your study on joy AND to see if I can learn your method so that I can unearth treasures about…say…perseverance (arrgh). I have a strange attraction to things called “arduous”. hee hee.
    Merry Christmas beautiful lady.
    And thank you.

  8. bolovesjoe says:

    Hey Jen – I emailed you! 🙂

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