Sometimes I call my husband bursting with joy, and he’s busy at work or too distracted to get as excited as I would like him to. When he walks in the door bubbling with victory news, I may be busy with dinner or have questions about a bill or phone call that seem more urgent at the time. I know you experience this too. Your children cry and need attention, your friend’s not available to talk when you call, you get stuck in traffic, or the person you’re trying to share with reacts with doubt or resistance.
I remember King David - all pumped up and flushed with praise, he came home to bless his family. Instead of celebrating with her husband that the Ark of the Covenant was back in town, Michal watched from her palace window with a critical eye. She made cutting remarks about how he’d made a fool of himself worshiping in public (see 2 Samuel 6). Way to kill the joy, Michal! No wonder he wasn’t able to share his joy in God’s victory with her.
In today’s verse, I’ve emphasized a few words in bold:
Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies” (2 Chron. 20:27, NLT). The thing that stands out to me is they took their joy home from the battlefield and it spilled all over town. Isn’t that what we want too?
How can we keep the joy from leaking away? First of all, we need to keep our focus on God. Distractions will come, and some will need our immediate attention. But then it’s time to remember God’s given us a victory. So announce with breathless excitement, “Let me tell you what God did today.” We can encourage each member of our household to recount a God-moment they had that day. Joy promotes joy, just as complaining and hopelessness multiply more of the same.
Secondly, we can ensure we’re not joy stealers when our loved ones have victories to share. I’ve been guilty of this. Preoccupied by my own circumstances and failures, I’ve burst my husband, friend, and family member’s joy bubbles with my own self-centeredness, jealousy, lack of faith, and self-pity. God has made me aware of this. Both He and they have forgiven me. Now I want to join in, rather than steal away joy. God is helping me to do that.
What about you. Has God given you victory today? Who can you tell and increase the level of joy in your home, dorm room, office, or neighborhood? Who else has a story to tell you that will energize your faith and bring their joy home?