Joy and Dancing in Church?

When we think about the Book of Acts church who were the first born again believers in Jesus, we often think of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the signs and wonders that accompanied the preaching of the Gospel, and the miracles that were worked by those first disciples.   A thoughtful and careful study of the Book of Acts shows much more that we would tend to overlook or like to forget and that's the persecution and opposition to the message of Jesus through the disciples. Our response might be fear or dread or complaining but the Early Church had a different response - they rejoiced!  In Acts 5 the apostles left a place where they had been beaten and threatened with death but they " . . . rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name . . .".  In Acts 13 the apostles were run out of town by persecution and slander but rather than feeling defeated they were ". . . filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."  What did the early disciples of Jesus learn about joy in every season and how can we tap into that same fountain of joy?  

People are created to be joyful and to experience joy in every situation.  We are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and God is full of joy!  He laughs (Psalm 2: 4) and He rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Think how easily a child laughs each day and delights in the simplest moments.  As we grow to adulthood we loose that sense of joy, wonder and delight for the sake of responsibility and serious matters.  Our cares seem to crush our joy and laughter gets lost in the everyday hustle of life.  The sickness of sorrow invades our soul and we feel lifeless and hopeless.

How can we regain that lighthearted life of laughter and joy in every situation?  Hold onto Hope!!  Hope is a rope and our hope in God and His promises holds us as we navigate the challenged of life.  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)  We must get back to the solid foundation of Faith in God and trust in His Word.  When we see situations from God's perspective we can abound in hope and be filled (and re-filled ) with joy.  Joy spills out of us in rejoicing and in gladness and laughter.  Take some time today to refocus your perspective on God and rejoice in His Goodness then laugh at something that seems like a big problem.
Rejoice knowing that God's got this!

Joy connected to hope is a powerful life force and can affect our environment, our families and even our physical bodies.  Proverbs 17: 22 tells us a joyful heart is like good medicine and brings life to the soul.  Laughter lightens loads and can heal brokenness of body and heart.
Hope and Laughter dance together and as believers in Christ we should be the most hopeful and joyful people in the room.  We should be thoughtful and responsible in situations but we should face impossible situations with the possibilities of God.  Then we can be refilled with joy and peace in believing and laugh with God.  

Some Questions to ask yourself and to ask others:
What is the last thing that I laughed out loud about?
What is an area that I have let go of joy and hope?  What promise of God's Word can I reconnect
with and reengage with hope?  
Ask God to restore to you the joy of salvation (Psalm 51: 12)

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