Last week I told you that I was nothing if not current. So today I’m exploring Grace and Truth’s own Lisa Burgess’ exercise on finding the twins and opposites of my word for the year. If you are new around here (yay! and welcome), I chose JOY as my one word for 2023. After an extremely tough few years I am ready to lighten up. And so many of you responded and resonated with my feelings and my word. So I continue to share what God is showing me in case you could use some joy in your life. Let’s break it down.
Joy noun – 1. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. 2. the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. 3. a state of happiness or felicity 4. a source or cause of delight. verb – 1. to experience great pleasure or delight.
Synonyms (or Twins)
delight, gaity, bliss, rejoice, gladden, enjoy, jubilation, triumph, exaltation, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, ecstacy, rapture, radiance, enjoyment, gratification, pleasure, treat, thrill, jocundity, celebrate, cheer, revel, make merry.
Antonyms (or Opposites)
sadness, sorry, anguish, misery, calamity, agony, unhappiness, wretchedness, woe, melancholy, desolation, gloom, depression, blues, despondency, doldrums, disheartenment, dispiritedness, gloominess, purgatory, Gehenna, hell, mournfulness, downheartedness, regret, lament, weep, grieve, bemoan.
Breaking it Down
Before that last list puts us all firmly in the doldrums, let’s move onto my insights. First I want to point out the second definition of “joy”, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” That’s a worldy definition of a biblical concept if I’ve ever seen one. And one of the twins of “joy” I found is “triumph”. When I saw this I immediately thought of the DJ Kaled (featuring several other artists) lyrics, “All I do is win, win, win no matter what.”
As followers of Jesus, we have to dispel the myth that joy is only for those on top of the world. It has been well documented that the more we have, the more we want. So does anybody really possess what they desire? For the long haul? Come on. No one can always win. On the opposite spectrum, hell is listed as an antonym of joy. Now that is telling. As believers in Jesus we are as far from hell as it gets. And joy is also as far from hell as it gets. Joy can be ours because hell never will be.`
The Nitty Gritty
So how do we have joy in the midst of the calamity, sorrow and misery me all experience? First of all, let me say that it is good and healthy to mourn, grieve and lament. It is those who believe Christians should never be sad that are headed for emotional turmoil. When we constantly suppress negative feelings, we become a time bomb that will eventually explode. God made all emotions for us to experience and process. He cares about them all and wants us to bring them all to Him. We must deal with our hard things to ever experience true joy. Refusing to deal means not letting ourselves heal.
One of my verses for the year is Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope and by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The more of our stuff – good and bad – that we entrust to God, the more joyful and peace-filled we will be. Easy to say, often hard to do. That’s why it takes practice. Discipline is a key component of our faith. Not just the discipline to pray, read our bible, go to church and fast. But also the discipline to submit our stuff to God over and over and over again.
The Last Question
If I had to use one of the synonyms of joy as a backup word, I would choose “delight”. It immediately made me think of Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Sounds like joy!
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
Unfortunately, Michelle Bengtson’s Adult Children: How to Parent When They Choose a Different Path hits me in my current need. Maybe it will be helpful to you too.
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