Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Derry James
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000236
00:30 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again to
00:33 Issues and Answers. Today we are going to be
00:36 talking about joy and the title of this program is
00:39 Joy Is Free But Not Cheap. Are you interested in
00:42 finding out what we're talking about? Me too.
00:45 First let me share with you one of my favorite
00:48 scriptures from the Bible and I'm going to be reading
00:52 from the Amplified. This is Romans 15:13 and here's
00:56 what it says: May the God of your hope so fill you
01:00 with all joy and peace in believing that by the
01:04 power of the Holy Spirit you may abound, you may
01:09 overflow, bubble over with hope. You know, I did a
01:12 study in the Greek. You know what hope means in
01:16 the Greek? Eager expectation. When you know the God of
01:21 all hope, the God of eager expectation, the God of
01:26 promises, then you can eagerly expect God to
01:30 do something great in your life. With us again today
01:34 we have Pastor, excuse me, Chaplain Derry James.
01:39 She is a Doctor of Ministry and a board certified
01:43 chaplain coming to us from Grass Valley, California.
01:47 Derry, I'm so glad you're joining us again and I
01:50 can't wait to get into this topic. Let me ask you
01:54 something. I thought you were going to say something.
01:57 I was just going to respond and tell you it's nice to
02:00 be back here with you.
02:01 I'm glad. Let me ask you, I can't wait to hear what
02:06 you mean by joy is free but not cheap. But before
02:10 we get into that, let's define joy.
02:12 Joy is something we have that happens beyond
02:19 our circumstances in comparison to happiness
02:21 that is dependent upon circumstances.
02:24 Amen. It reminds me of Nehemiah 8:10 that says
02:29 the joy of the Lord is your strength.
02:31 So that's also something that's one of the gifts of
02:35 the Spirit. So joy is something that each one
02:38 of can receive from God and it is free but not cheap.
02:43 What do you mean it's not cheap?
02:45 When I came up with that title, Shelley, I was
02:49 thinking of all the different tragedies and
02:53 crises that I have walked through in my own life
02:56 for example and that there are times that I have kind
03:01 of wallowed in the problems as I have gong through
03:05 them and there are times as I became acquainted
03:09 with our Lord and Savior that even though I was
03:12 going through some severe, severe heartache, I had a
03:16 settled peace and joy in my heart because I knew
03:20 that my life was in God's hands and that His
03:24 purposes for me would be fulfilled. So that joy
03:28 sometimes come with a high price tag. That joy
03:31 sometimes comes as we walk through the sorrow
03:35 and suffering of our lives. That joy is
03:39 something that sometimes we can't experience even
03:42 on a high level until we've experienced the suffering
03:44 and heartache in our lives.
03:46 That's true. So many people do confuse joy and
03:49 happiness. They think if only I had more money
03:53 only I could pay all of my bills. They want to be in
03:57 the circumstance or in a situation that is absent
04:01 of negative circumstances. But I know a lot of people
04:05 who have all the trappings that the world could offer.
04:09 They have enough money to go around and help several
04:13 families. They've got maybe no problems with
04:16 their marriage and yet they are empty inside.
04:20 They have everything that makes for happiness in
04:23 life but they have no real joy. They are empty.
04:27 So would it be a fair statement to say that
04:32 true joy is something that we can only receive
04:37 from the Lord and it is a gift?
04:38 I believe that's true. Happiness is not long
04:42 lasting. It's momentary. As we think of the things
04:46 that you have just talked about it seems like as
04:49 we're going that route in life we're always looking
04:53 for one more fix. You know what I mean?
04:56 Yes. One more something to hang onto to give us
04:59 that happiness. If I just have this or if I just go
05:02 this place or if I just do that then I'll be happy
05:07 or that makes me feel good but when we develop
05:10 a personal relationship with our Lord, when we
05:14 learn to depend upon him, when we walk every day
05:18 with him, we have such an inner peace and joy that
05:21 these things of the world really don't matter. They
05:24 don't even call to us because there is a
05:27 settledness within the very depths of our soul
05:30 and the depths of our being. It makes me think
05:34 of the text in Philippians that says rejoice in the
05:37 Lord always and again I say rejoice. Oh that's
05:39 a song, and again I say rejoice. Remember singing
05:42 that song? In fact, in verse 6 here of Philippians
05:46 4 it says be anxious for nothing. In everything by
05:50 prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
05:53 requests be made known to God. So it sounds like
05:57 that the key is in that text, doesn't it? Yes.
06:00 Be anxious for nothing. And why are we anxious
06:03 for nothing, how are we anxious for nothing?
06:05 Because we're in prayer. Because we have a thankful
06:08 heart. Let me ask you something.
06:10 It occurs to me you are currently working as a
06:13 chaplain and I'm sure that you have people as you are
06:17 dealing with death, which you often do, families in
06:21 crisis where they are at that turning point that
06:25 they've lost a loved one, have you seen the difference
06:28 between Christians and non-Christians in the way
06:31 they deal with death? Have you met Christians
06:35 that can walk through the valley of the shadow of
06:38 death and still have joy in the Lord, still
06:41 Nehemiah 8:10 is holding true that the joy of the
06:45 Lord is their strength?
06:46 That's absolutely true and it's an amazing thing.
06:50 It's interesting to see the reactions and
06:52 and difference even with our staff members at the
06:55 hospital as they are dealing with these families.
07:00 Because people that are so totally let's
07:04 just say sold out to Jesus and totally dependent
07:07 upon God, they can be around the bedside singing.
07:12 together as their loved one is dying and there is
07:16 such a settledness in them because they have
07:20 that hope and they know that this is not the end.
07:24 This is only a temporary situation. Yes exactly.
07:28 But the beginning will be coming when our Lord and
07:32 Savior comes again to receive us to himself.
07:34 They know that hope.
07:36 You know whenever I send a card of consolation I
07:39 always try to remember to include that in my message,
07:42 if I'm writing to a Christian which is that it's only a
07:46 temporary separation and that indeed you have
07:49 eternity to spend with your loved one and I hope you
07:52 find comfort in that because it certainly brings
07:55 me a lot of comfort.
07:56 That's learning to trust in God even in a crisis.
08:00 Let me share something with you, Derry, that my
08:03 college roommate was trying to get hold of me.
08:06 We had lost track. We both moved at the same time
08:10 and I lost tract of her for about a year.
08:11 She had her sister contact my mother trying to get
08:15 hold of me and I missed connecting with her.
08:19 Long story short, about a year later I ran into my
08:23 friend and I said You know I got the message from my
08:26 mother that you were trying to contact me and I'm so
08:29 sorry I missed it. She said well let me tell you why.
08:32 My daughter was killed; a drunk driver hit her
08:36 daughter and she was only nine years old, beautiful
08:38 little girl and it killed the daughter.
08:43 Now she was telling me that when she first went
08:47 there and was standing with her daughter's little
08:50 broken body on the ground that some friends had gone
08:54 with her and she said I was just hysterical at
08:57 first and her Christian friends surrounded her and
09:00 they became to pray from Philippians 4 for the peace
09:03 that transcends all understanding and she said
09:06 Shelley, God filled me with that peace right there.
09:10 And the difference, her husband turned away from
09:14 God. He was mad at God. But she went through this
09:17 whole thing holding onto the hope that she's got
09:20 eternity to spend with her daughter. God gave her
09:23 peace even to the point that people thought, she's
09:26 in denial because she is not grieving the way a
09:29 mother should grieve. She grieved but not that
09:33 horrendous type of grieving. She drew nearer
09:37 to the Lord. Her husband on the other hand stepped
09:41 back and really severed from God for about 10
09:44 years. It took him 10 years to come around to where he
09:48 accepted that. But now let me ask you, you've been
09:52 through some experiences in your own life and is it
09:55 okay with you, I'm asking you here on camera.
09:59 Let me ask you about your divorce. Okay. That had
10:03 to be a time when it certainly wasn't happy
10:07 circumstances. Were you able to draw on that inner
10:12 strength from God and find joy?
10:16 You know actually I'm glad you asked the question.
10:18 I am glad you asked the question because God
10:22 proved himself so powerful and so loving to me during
10:26 that time. So let me tell you a little bit about that
10:30 story, Shelley. During the time of my divorce, actually
10:34 my husband left just when I started the new job and
10:38 that was a chaplain. It wasn't just that I became
10:41 a chaplain, but that they had never had a chaplain's
10:44 department there so I had the privilege of setting up
10:47 the first chaplain's department. So when I got
10:51 the job he walked out the door and here I was
10:55 after having been a stay- at-home mom all these
10:58 years suddenly a professional in a brand
11:01 new place, new occupation, everything new about it
11:04 and devastated. So this is kind of how me routine
11:08 went: I was home at night and I was crying
11:11 hysterically and could hardly sleep, sobbing, and
11:14 I would get up in the morning and I would say
11:18 I can't do this, I just can't do this. And I
11:22 would hear the prompting of the Lord saying, praise
11:26 me. I said, praise you, I can't even talk. I was
11:28 thinking this in my mind as I was praying to God.
11:32 And God said sing. Now I just sing for my own
11:35 amusement; it's not anything that I'm very
11:38 gifted at. But I can carry a little bit of a tune you
11:41 know and God said sing and I said I can't even
11:44 talk. I would get in the car and drive the 15
11:47 minutes to work and obediently I would try to
11:50 croak out a song of praise to God. I would
11:54 start and the lump in my throat was so big I truly
11:57 could hardly utter the words. By the time I got
12:00 to the hospital, I was singing a song of praise.
12:04 God honored that. You know the scripture says I will
12:08 offer him the sacrifice of praise. Well I believe
12:11 that that was my sacrifice of praise because I
12:14 certainly did not feel like praise at that time.
12:17 As I walked into the hospital, it was like the
12:21 Lord anointed me, gave me a whole new spirit. I was
12:24 overwhelmed with an anointing where I had the
12:28 joy, I had the peace, I had the presence to be
12:31 with the patients and minister to their needs.
12:33 So this whole routine went on for a while. God allowed
12:39 me the gift of grieving at home but he absolutely
12:43 filled my soul as I allowed myself to be obedient to
12:47 him, give myself to him, and praise him in all things.
12:51 So you're proving the point the same as with my friend
12:54 is that we can have joy in our hearts even when
12:58 there's no happiness in our hearts. Exactly.
13:02 You know when you were saying about Him asking
13:05 you to sing and to praise him, you know what I was
13:10 thinking? Why does God require praise? It doesn't
13:14 change him. Who does praise change? It's for us.
13:18 It changes us. And as we praise him and focus on
13:23 his goodness and on his mercy and his love, it's
13:27 hard not to be joyful no matter what the circumstances.
13:30 We may be trapped in negative circumstances.
13:34 You were trapped in those circumstances. Your husband
13:37 wanted a divorce. He walked out the door.
13:40 It caught you off guard. But now here you are
13:43 even though you are in those circumstances you
13:47 found joy and strength immeasurable.
13:50 Shelley, why don't we look at together how do we
13:54 deal with circumstances that we are actually
13:59 living in with other people where we are
14:03 stretched maybe to the limit. Let's just say for
14:08 a moment we're living in our marital situation and
14:11 we're not getting along well with our spouse or
14:15 we have some major issues with our spouse and let's
14:19 take the same example living with children and
14:23 maybe the children are not responsive to the adult
14:27 authorities there. Maybe there are some major
14:31 conflicts between the parents and children or
14:35 children and parents, which ever way you want to look
14:38 at it. The child is turning toward drugs for example.
14:40 Or maybe the child wants to follow Jesus and the
14:42 parents don't want to have anything to do with it.
14:45 So it really doesn't matter. I'm just saying
14:48 let's look at other situations. I'd like to
14:50 share with you something God taught me just a few
14:54 years ago that to me has been a powerful, powerful
14:58 tool. Okay. I went to a seminar and they had
15:01 actually kind of parallel themes, but the main
15:05 theme was The Unoffendable Christ.
15:08 I thought the unoffendable Christ. Now that's
15:12 interesting. I really contemplated that and I
15:17 thought well I pray frequently Jesus help me
15:20 be like you. But I don't have this check list of
15:24 how I want to be like Jesus. I just say help me
15:27 to be like you. As I thought of the unoffendable
15:30 Christ, I thought, well of course Jesus didn't get
15:33 offended. So if Jesus didn't get offended, why
15:35 do I need to get offended? Then I thought, well I'm
15:39 human, I'm not God. But I thought about that whole
15:42 concept. Then another parallel theme was
15:45 bless those that despitefully use you, bless those that
15:50 curse you. I truly,truly... It was a five-hour drive,
15:55 and on the way home I thought about everything
15:58 that was presented there. I thought this is true;
16:01 Jesus didn't get offended and if Jesus didn't get
16:04 offended why do I need to get offended?
16:06 You know, people are people. We all have our
16:09 baggage, we all have our problems, we all have those
16:12 idiosyncrasies that we need to overcome and we
16:16 need to give each other grace. If someone has a
16:19 reaction to me or they're having a bad day doesn't
16:22 mean I have to let it get to me. I can love them in
16:25 spite of it. So how does that play out? Well that
16:28 plays out with the second part, that parallel theme,
16:31 of blessing those that persecute you. I can
16:36 remember coming home after the seminar and one of my
16:40 children had moved back home temporarily and they
16:43 had had like a really bad day. I'd been gone for
16:46 about three days. When I left everything was great.
16:48 When I came home he was hardly speaking to me.
16:51 Now five hours I'd contemplated on this theme,
16:54 Shelley. Not to be offended. That's right.
16:56 And I walk in the door and have this confrontation
16:59 immediately with my son who, just honestly, was
17:03 was downright rude at that moment. I thought, I don't
17:07 need this. First reaction, I don't need this. I've
17:10 been gone for three days I've just come home, what
17:13 is his problem. That's all going through my head as
17:16 I carry my luggage in. I sat down in my room and
17:19 Oh! The unoffendable Christ, blessed. So I went
17:22 up to my office and I said oh Father bless my son
17:25 with the give of communication, bless him
17:26 with unconditional love, bless him with respect and
17:29 honor for his parent. Bless him with the knowledge
17:32 that I love him no matter what. I was just up there
17:35 blessing him and blessing him and blessing him.
17:38 He came upstairs and he was still upset but you
17:42 know what, I'll use the word "magic" for a moment;
17:46 the "magic" happened in me. God changed me. There was
17:51 a major transformation and anything he said it was
17:55 just like water off a duck's back. I was at total peace
17:59 and because I was at total peace that just spilled
18:02 right over to him and the whole thing was gone and
18:06 over. So we can have joy in difficult circumstances
18:10 no matter what if our focus remains on our Lord
18:14 and if our responses and reactions follow our Lord's
18:17 example. Amen! You know when you're
18:20 sitting here talking... You're going to love this:
18:24 I was praying one day and as I sat at the feet of
18:27 the Lord being still to know that he was God,
18:30 waiting for his response, he said something to me
18:33 that just caught me off guard, because I was really
18:35 expecting the Lord to give me a pat on the back
18:38 for some things that he had accomplished through
18:41 me. And all of a sudden what was impressed upon
18:43 my mind is, I will cure you of the spirit of offense.
18:49 I thought, yes, I had been offended that day and he
18:53 said the spirit of offense is nothing more than the
18:56 spirit of pride which is the spirit of antichrist.
19:00 Now when you think about that, see Christ was never
19:04 offended because he had no pride. It was perfect
19:08 humility. Philippians tells that we are to have that
19:13 same likeness of Christ the same mind of Christ.
19:16 So when we get offended it's just because our pride
19:20 has popped up and that robs us of joy.
19:24 So I'm just sitting here thinking out loud that
19:28 pride will rob us of joy. Absolutely. Pride will
19:32 make us insecure. Pride will make us easily offended.
19:37 That is something that robs us of our joy.
19:41 But then likewise I had a situation, J.D. and I, with
19:45 a business partner and I won't go into it but we
19:49 ended up $250,000 in debt because of this man and it
19:53 was terrible. The man threatened my life.
19:57 It was horrible. God knew that I was holding
20:01 unforgiveness in my heart for this person. You cannot
20:04 have joy with unforgiveness in your heart. Darkness
20:07 and light have no association. So what
20:10 happened the Lord kept telling me pray for him.
20:13 Pray for his salvation. You know what my first
20:16 response was? I don't care if he's saved or not, and I
20:20 really wanted him to rot somewhere else, if you
20:24 will. This was many years ago, but finally the Holy
20:28 Spirit was working on me to the point, Derry, that
20:33 I said Okay Lord I'll pray for his salvation because
20:35 you're asking me to. You know, because I'm saying
20:38 how can I forgive him. How can you demand that I
20:41 forgive him? As I prayed for this man's salvation
20:45 at the leading of the Lord God did such a work in my
20:48 heart. He put forgiveness... You cannot pray for
20:51 somebody's salvation and not get forgiveness in
20:55 your heart. God released me from the chain of the
20:59 wicked that was binding me. He restored my joy as I
21:04 was blessing the one who was cursing me by praying
21:07 for his salvation. So this is a biblical principle
21:10 and it works. Absolutely and you can't
21:12 hate somebody that you are praying for, you can't.
21:16 No because the Lord shows you that person from his
21:21 perspective and his love for them gets transferred
21:25 into your heart. You know you brought up
21:28 the forgiveness issue and as you brought that up
21:31 I was thinking. You know again I'm going back to
21:35 Jesus as our example here Shelley. But when Jesus
21:38 was on the cross, he didn't have to take time to
21:42 kind of chew on it or cogitate.
21:45 Jesus forgiveness for the people that had so treated
21:52 him the way they had was instantaneous.
21:55 Again, looking at Jesus as our example, that's where
21:59 we need to go, not nursing those grudges,
22:02 not nursing those problems. What you went through was
22:06 major crisis. Yes. Major. I mean life changing
22:12 affecting crisis. To say well tritely we'll just
22:17 forgive him. I mean you had your own emotions
22:20 you had to work through plus you had all the
22:23 repercussions in your life that you had to work
22:27 through. But the bottom line is that's where you
22:31 were and you could either hang onto that lack of
22:34 forgiveness and let it absolutely destroy you
22:37 which ultimately was giving this person control over
22:39 you still or you could release the whole thing
22:43 to God and God's judgment. So often we forget to say
22:48 thank you in the midst of trial. We forget to say...
22:52 We don't want to say thank you.
22:54 No we don't but as we say thank you and praise you
22:58 God for this we actually are releasing God to work
23:02 in our lives, releasing God to be effective,
23:05 releasing God to do something with the
23:08 situation as we praise him. I mean, that is biblical.
23:12 You know, I'm thinking about joy being free.
23:17 Galatians 5:22: The fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy
23:20 peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness,
23:23 faithfulness and self- control. Love, joy and
23:27 peace, this is something that God pours into us.
23:31 He is the Spirit of Love. He is the God of Peace,
23:35 Jehovah Shalom. His joy is our strength. So this
23:39 is a gift from him. But I know we've got someone
23:43 who is listening to us, Derry, who is saying, I
23:46 want that joy. How do I get reconnected to my
23:51 joy? You're saying it's not free. It takes a
23:56 little effort doesn't it to connect again to God.
23:59 If you've been robbed of your joy you're really
24:03 disconnected from God. Would you agree?
24:05 Oh absolutely. Okay, how does someone get
24:08 connected back to God to open their heart and
24:10 receive his joy? Well, I can tell you
24:13 something that definitely has worked for me.
24:16 When I was beginning to go downhill emotionally
24:21 and feeling sorry for myself, that just meant
24:24 that I wasn't living in the position of gratitude
24:29 or praise. So I gave myself the assignment of writing
24:33 down 10 things for 10 days, all different things,
24:38 that I could be thankful for. I couldn't repeat, I
24:41 had to come up with 10 new things and it could be
24:43 as simple as I'm thankful that I have a glass of
24:46 water, I'm thankful that the sun came up today.
24:49 Like I told you before the program I was thankful
24:52 after Christmas day when we had no hot water, I was
24:57 thankful for hot water. Exactly. So as I
25:01 focused on those things in life that I can be thankful for
25:06 and took the focus off all those things that were
25:12 pulling me down, that attitude of gratitude put
25:17 me in a spirit of oneness with Jesus which ultimately
25:21 opened me up again to let him pour himself into me.
25:25 So it was meditating on those blessings, it was
25:30 spending time with my God sharing my heart to him
25:34 as a friend, letting him know exactly how I felt
25:37 about everything and letting him know all the
25:40 hopes and dreams that I had or the ones that were
25:44 dashed and just opening my heart to total trust
25:47 and confidence in his plan. You know, we've each
25:51 been created for a particular destiny and
25:54 the enemy wants to thwart God's plan in our life and
25:58 as we come to focus on the fact that this is a battle
26:02 over our very soul to snatch us away from the
26:05 hands of our Lord. As we consciously choose to put
26:09 ourselves back in God's hands and say Lord fulfill
26:13 your destiny in my life, it brings a settledness
26:16 to our spirit. In fact, with what you were just
26:20 sharing about the gifts, it just seems to me that
26:24 we could say joy equals peace equals love.
26:28 And love equals joy equals peace. Exactly right.
26:32 Well you know so we've looked at several things
26:35 and one being that God told you to praise him and
26:38 that helped restore your joy. Meditating on good
26:41 things, spending time in prayer with the Lord
26:44 in his presence. Something else I find is
26:47 focusing on his promises. Absolutely. As I claim
26:49 his promises and speak them over my life, I find
26:53 that if my level of joy is low he brings me up.
26:56 You know what? Our time is almost all gone again.
26:59 Derry, will you please come back and do some more
27:02 programs with us. I would love to join you again.
27:05 This was great fun. Thank you so much.
27:07 I know you're so good at the work that you do as
27:11 chaplain. You have such a gentle, precious spirit.
27:14 Well thank you. We're not good at anything
27:17 without Jesus. Amen.
27:19 For those of you at home I hope that the joy of
27:22 the Lord will be your strength. I hope that you
27:25 will go to the God of hope and ask him, Lord help
27:28 me to open my heart to you. Pour out your love
27:31 joy and peace in me. Give me the fruit of the Spirit
27:35 Give me eager expectation that you are a God of your
27:39 word and that your promises can be trusted.
27:42 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of
27:46 the Father and the fellowship of the Holy
27:48 Spirit be with you today and throughout the rest of
27:52 this year. Thank you for joining us.