"Poor Me" OR "Pour Me"?
Good Morning! With a title like that you all may think I'm a little crazy, and your probably right, but in truth, I have been in prayer for quite a while this week about what God might want to share with us or remind us of, and there is a certain topic that I can't get out of my head. It is the topic of JOY! I feel like there may be many of us this week that needs this incredible reminder of the Joy we have in Christ! To start with today, let's remember what Jesus had to say about Joy. "These things I have spoken to you so that MY JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be FULL." - John 15:11 "These things I speak in the world so that they may have MY JOY made FULL in themselves." - John 17:13 "Therefore you have grief right now, but I will see you again, and your heart will Rejoice, and NO ONE will take your JOY away from you!" - John 16:22
Let's realize first of all that this Joy is from Jesus! It is HIS Joy He is giving us! Do you think of your Savior, of your God, as full of Joy? Well, He is!! You can read so many scriptures that testify to that fact! He Rejoices over one lost soul who repents and is saved. He Rejoices over YOU with singing. He causes all of creation to shout and sing with Joy. He takes Great Delight in You! He anoints us with the oil of JOY. Even the reason HE endured the cross was for the "JOY that was set before Him." One of the attributes of our God is JOY. That is why it is part of the Fruit of His Spirit in our lives. I want you to think of the first miracle of Jesus. Turning water into wine! The end result of that miracle for the people who were present was the creating of GREAT JOY!!! They were literally bubbling over with JOY! He could have chosen to raise someone from the dead, or to heal someone as His first miracle but instead He chose to INCREASE the Celebration! To bring Literal LIFE to the party!! You see, in His presence there is the Fullness of JOY! That is why Paul tells us to REJOICE in the Lord ALWAYS, and He tells us again to REJOICE!!! Now we look at something like this and think, yeah that's fine Paul when things are going great, but what happens when life is hard? What happens when things just keep going wrong? To answer that, I want us to consider what Paul says in Philippians 2:17.
"But I will REJOICE even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share my JOY!" (NLT)
Another version says this at the end of that verse, "I REJOICE and share MY JOY with you all." Paul was full of JOY even when talking about losing his life, even when talking about being "Poured Out" in his service to our King! In fact, being poured out for Christ is exactly what he wanted to be! Nothing was going to slow Paul down, shut him up, or hinder him from being all used up for Jesus. Everything that Christ Poured into him, he was pouring right back out to anyone around him. I have always said that my greatest desire is to be "Spent" for Jesus on this earth! I want to be all used up, every last drop! I envision that this is where Paul is at this time. He is being poured out like a drink offering to His Lord. In fact that is what he said in 2 Timothy 4:6. He told Timothy that his life had already been Poured out as an offering to God and that the time of his death was near. And Yet, in the face of shipwrecks, beatings, hunger, persecutions, sickness, and even facing death, he was not only able to be Full of JOY, but to SHARE his JOY with others!! My kids tease me all the time that I have a song for everything, and that I am always singing, so when we all heard a certain new song on the radio, they both started laughing and said "That's SO You mom!" They were not wrong in the fact that I LOVE this song and sing it all the time! The song says this, "I've got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul. I've got a sweet salvation and it's beautiful. I've got a heart Overflowing cause I've been RESTORED. There ain't nothing gonna steal my JOY. No There ain't NOTHING gonna steal my JOY!" I believe that is what was in the heart of Paul, and Jesus, and even Job, who in the middle of everything he was going through could still PRAISE the name of the Lord!
Paul had every opportunity to say "Poor Me!" Life was hard, painful, and full of sufferings. Jesus could have said that too, and yet He gave His life as a sacrifice that His Grace would be Poured out on all of us. At a time when either one could have said, "Poor Me!" They chose to say, "POUR ME!" POUR me out for your use God! Pour my life out as an offering for YOU! And they did that full of JOY!!
I want what Christ has offered us...HIS JOY!! I want to walk out my life FULL of His JOY! It is part of HIM in Us and it is available no matter what the circumstance! I want to be careful to add this though...We are not to use His desire for us to have His Joy as a justification for us to sin. Too many times I have heard Christians claim that because God wants them to be happy, and their marriage doesn't make them happy, that they should get out of their marriage. Let me just tell you that the Truth is this, Christ wants us to have HIS JOY IN that situation. His JOY is our STRENGTH IN that circumstance. We are still called to obey Him, and in that obedience there is JOY. His JOY is NOT based on circumstance! You see that in both Paul and Jesus' situations, but JOY Is what would get them through the very difficult trials they faced! It was for and with this JOY they could offer themselves to be Poured out!! We have an amazing opportunity when we are facing trials of any kind to be Poured Out in Ministry for God's use! When times are tough, it is a perfect moment to be Poured Out in such a way that people can see the Power of our God IN these difficult times, and Glorify Him!
I pray that we can think on this throughout our week. When we are faced with hard, frustrating, or painful circumstances can we ask God to change our mindset from "Poor Me!" to "POUR ME!" Let's be people who long for God to use us in whatever trial we face. May we be poured out like an offering to the Lord in whatever we are going through, be it at work, at home, or in our relationships, knowing that we have the JOY of the LORD that will be our STRENGTH!! We thank our Lord that for the JOY set before Him, HE endured the cross, that His JOY may be In us and that that JOY would be Complete! Pour us out Lord, for Your Glory, and for Your Kingdom, and may we Know and Share this JOY with others!
Scripture to Meditate on this week:
Phil. 2:17, 2 Tim. 4:6, Heb 12:2, James 1:2-3, 1 Peter 1:8-9, Neh. 8:10, Romans 15:13