If you are like me, then you are probably feeling the burn… the burn of the day in, day out, day in, day out of the school year. It’s tiring isn’t it?! Geesh, I’m exhausted!
The question is this: where can we go to receive a profusion of energy? Why, to the Lord of course! He will deliver it to us in abundance, and abundance is what I’m standing in need of about now. How ’bout you?
God states in His word that the joy of the Lord is our strength. When we are strong, we have more energy. When we have more energy, we are more productive. When we are more productive, we are ministering more effectively to our students. When we are ministering more effectively to our students, we therefore are getting the job done for the Lord! As you can see, JOY IS ESSENTIAL IN OUR LINE OF WORK, my fellow teachers. So, it’s important to know what joy is…
Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.^^
Webster’s dictionary definition: 1) to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE, 2) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT. Hebrew dictionary definition: 8057. simchah, sim-khaw’; from H8056 blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival):– X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice (-ing).
Greek dictionary definition: 5479. chara, khar-ah’; from G5463; cheerfulness, i.e., calm delight:–gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).
Now, I’m certain we can agree joy is extremely important in the classroom given it’s definition. To add to that, joy is contagious for sure. What could be better than knowing we are spreading joy to our students when they come into our classrooms?
BUT, in order to become contagions of joy, exactly what is the expectation to obtain joy when we ask the Lord for it? Well, Jesus answers this question for us in the Gospel of John…
Since joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, we need to repent of sin, keep His commandments, and abide in His love.
It’s like this: If you are married, remember the early days (and hopefully present days too!) when you just couldn’t get enough of each other? You lived on love…you were abiding in love. It’s the same concept, in that we always should be at the point where we can never get enough of Jesus. It’s at that point where our joy is full. We are loving Him, we are abiding in Him, we are obeying Him, and therefore we are full of joy! Amen!
I can tell a big difference in my life, and certainly in my teaching, when I’m not operating at full capacity because of a lack of joy. Can you? It stinks doesn’t it? I have less energy, and because I have less energy I am simply NOT an effective witness for the Lord. A day without joy is akin to a day wasted in the classroom, and time is too precious to waste my friends. Every minute counts!
My challenge for all of us each and everyday is to repent of sin, abide in His love, keep his commandments, and receive the joy we need to fulfill the call He has placed on our lives as teachers. Will you accept the challenge, my fellow Christian teachers?
God bless you this week as you minister with joy to your students, and stay devoted! When we are devoted, we are more excellent teachers for the Lord. After all, devotion and abiding are similar aren’t they? 🙂