Every day I turn on my microphone to bring joy and encourage radio listeners across the nation. It’s a privilege, but it’s not always easy. Before I became a pastor, author, or radio host, I was a professional actor. I loved being able to bring joy to a live audience every night. Playing a character under the lights and leaving it all out on the stage was thrilling. But it is not as thrilling as telling the best story well – the story of God in my life and in the world.
Last year I went through one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I felt buried under trauma, loss, and fear of the future. As I sat in a quiet room with nothing but a computer and microphone I would weep and cry out to the Lord, “How can I bring joy and encouragement when I feel like this?” I needed help. I needed hope. I felt like a fraud. I knew how to create a character on stage, but I didn’t want to fake this.
“You steer where you stare.”
Scrolling social media, avoiding the task at hand, I came across this truth: “You steer where you stare.”
That was it! He said, “You’ve locked eyes with the worst-case scenario. Lock eyes with me.” Immediately, I ripped my eyes off the fear and trauma and locked eyes with my Savior and eternal Joy Bringer, Jesus.
We need good news. The world needs good news. And, good news – it’s here.
From before he was born, Jesus was a Joy Bringer. His cousin John leapt with joy inside his mother’s womb at the mere arrival of the pregnant virgin, Mary. At his birth, the angels trumped and declared the good news—the messiah had come. Everywhere Jesus went he brought it – good news of great joy for all people. His presence and words brought healing, hope, grace, mercy, freedom, and love to everyone he encountered. The message wasn’t for someday, but for today.
Finding and Bringing Joy
We are desperate for joy – desperate for Jesus. He is our joy.
We are desperate for joy – desperate for Jesus. He is our joy. And good news, he’s here. In fact, he is everywhere. We don’t have to compartmentalize joy. It’s not only reserved for the fun times. Jesus proved that even in the most difficult circumstances, we can find and bring joy. Notice I didn’t say, “We can feel joy.” There is a huge misconception that joy is solely an emotion. While it’s true we often feel joy, we also can lean on and lock eyes with joy.
He did that with you. In the most difficult moment in his life, Jesus locked eyes with you – the joy set before him.
In Every Circumstance
Bringing joy into every circumstance means bringing the hope and power of Jesus.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)
I recognize we often need to bring information that isn’t always good news for all people. Jesus’ message was not always well received. People rejected him and the good news, but even still, it was a message delivered with love and a lasting invitation. There is always hope. God is real and near. In the mundane and minutia, we find his presence, provision, and passion. This is why and how we can bring joy into every area. The difficult one-on-one conversation, the deadlocked board meeting, the unbalanced spreadsheet, and the pile of papers that never seems to end, Jesus is near, so joy is here.
Truth and Trust
Joy Bringers aren’t clowns hired for entertainment or oozing with toxic positivity. They are tapped into the ever-present source of hope, filled with joy and walking in confidence. Joy Bringers announce the truth and trust in the power of the Lord to accomplish it.
Through the pain and fear, I followed Jesus and brought joy. I spoke the truth – that Jesus is present in times of great pain and trial. I shared my experience of locking eyes with and being held up by joy though I didn’t feel it. I laid my offering at his feet, and he did what he does best – multiplied it. A few months later, the ratings came in, I became the number one midday radio host in the region.
People need joy. They need Jesus. I bless you to lock eyes with Jesus and bring joy wherever you go.