Dad, can you highlight one attribute or characteristic You really love seeing in me?
“I love your joy. Joy first comes from the inside and it is expressed outwardly. Remember son, joy isn’t a feeling. It is truth. It is possible to be joyful in the fire. It just doesn’t feel like you have joy. When you are joyful, it truly affects those around you. Like you said today, “No matter what season it is, there is always joy.” No need to wait for the sun, the moon, or the stars. Joy is found on acknowledging My love for you.
“For example, a child wants a candy cane at a store, and the father notices. So he gets the candy from the seller and gives it to his daughter, the child. A little boy comes along and steals the candy from the child just before taking a lick. The child looks straight at the father, waiting for him to do something, but he remains the same. He says, “The boy doesn’t know any better. Let him have it. Here, I will get you another one. How about a lollipop?” She smiles and agrees. So he buys again, and hands her a lollipop. Another little boy comes along and snatches the lollipop from the child, and the same thing happens. The father says, “It’s ok, the boy doesn’t know any better, forgive him as I’ve forgiven him. Here, how about some ice cream. Mint chocolate chip?” The child replies, “How’d you know?” The father answers, “Well, you’re my daughter.” And he smiles. He buys from the seller and hands his daughter the ice cream. Again, another little boy comes and snatches the child’s ice cream. But this time, the child asks her father for some money, and he gives. The child goes to the last boy that stole her ice cream and says, “Here you go.” She hands him the money. “All you need to do is ask next time.” The child smiles and walks back to her dad. The father asks his daughter, “What did you do?” The child replied, “I forgave him.” The father says, “Look at you!” And he smiles. “Do you want anything else?” he adds. “Nope, I’m satisfied,” answers the child.
“Being satisfied is acknowledging enough. That you are complete. For Jesus, why do you think joy was set before Him when He endured the cross? He thought of you. Not Himself. There’s a joy that comes when self is out of the picture. I remember when joy brought you to tears working at Camp Harlow. Remember when Jaden, the six-year-old, asked you, “What do you like most about Earth?” You answered, “Well, to think of it, it is probably people. And I guess that is why God said, ‘And it was very good,’ after creating man.” You were thinking still about that question in the cabin, and you shed tears as you watched My children play outside. In the parable I shared with you, the child’s joy was full. That’s what joyful means. She was satisfied because it had to do with another person – the boy who stole. She had joy to begin with because of how good her father was to her, but when she took action of forgiveness, first revealed to her by her father, her joy was full. See, her joy was made full because she looked like her dad. When a child does something they feel is good and honorable, they immediately look to their parent to see if they notice. They want them to see what they just did. Notice how the father said, “Look at you!” Excitement and joy are linked.
“So you don’t need to feel joy in order for you to believe that you are being joyful. As soon as you take notice of Me, there is true joy. It is excitement. Like Zacchaeus. He was excited to see Jesus. Like Peter, he was excited to meet Jesus on the water. I am the cause of excitement. When a father walks into his own house, does not his children shout, “Daddy!”? Don’t worry, son. I will restore your zeal for Me, and it will remain fresh, and and never grow cold, as in the days of your youth. Remember My words, “Unless you are like a child, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven”? A child gets to see Dad show up. It is rooted in excitement and joy. When do you not see a child laugh or smile? They are all about it. My Kingdom is exciting!
“Joy is filled in the praise of a father. If there were no praise from the Father, there would be no zeal, the fire would dim, and it wouldn’t be fun, or worth it. Likewise, let Me praise you and lift you up, My son. I know that you will do the same for Me, I don’t care. I just love you, and love watching you grow.
“You are going to overcome greater, stronger, and easier through joy. In this season, you will reap a harvest of joy and carry it into every season that passes by because you will remember and keep My words. You will begin to recognize that joy like this is rooted in fellowship with Me. When trials come your way, you will rejoice and rejoice and rejoice and sing songs of joy to Me, and you will not grow weary in doing so because you have My heart, and My understanding. For you know that rejoicing in tribulation is unnatural – super natural. Who on earth would do such a thing? But you will. Because you have recognized My love for you.”
“Rejoice always.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16