I once served under a pastor that smiled ALL of the time! It didn’t seem to matter what was going on, whether challenges were presenting themselves, or victories were abounding, he was smiling. Many would accuse someone like this of being disingenuous and it is likely that people getting to know this pastor have questions about the motives behind his smile, but the truth is that my pastor had figured out a very simple life principle. Pastor understood the power of the smile.
There are countless self-help books and programs that will tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, put on a smile, and handle your business like big boys and girls, but as millions have discovered, this simply isn’t enough! There are tremendous benefits psychologically that accompany a habit of smiling, and these benefits drive so much of the way that we view our lives, the people around us, and the opportunities that we have, but it’s hard to force a smile for very long. In the end, smiling is an indication of the attitude and posture of your heart. So where did my pastor’s joy come from? The Lord of course!
As leaders, we must embrace the discipline of taking joy in the Lord no matter what our circumstances. You see this theme throughout the Old and New Testament in countless ways, but the bottom line is having a spirit of thanksgiving. As believers we have literally millions of reasons to be thankful to the Lord, and those who have truly embraced this, and trained themselves to live under the discipline of thanksgiving, are visibly more capable of navigating their lives with true joy and peace.
Nehemiah 8:10 says “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” How powerful could this be in your life and ministry if you were to take hold of this single truth! Your strength does not come from education, ability, financial security, or anything else but through the joy of the Lord. In all honesty, I could write and write and write on this topic, and give example after example of lessons that I learned serving under my pastor, but I will leave the rest of this to C.H. Spurgeon. He wrote a message in 1871 that captures the essence of this truth and who better to communicate it to us than the “Prince of Preachers” himself. Check out the link below and put a smile on your face today!!
The Joy of the Lord, the Strength of His People by C. H. Spurgeon
This post was written by John Paul Basham, Student Ministry Specialist