Episode 38

You Can Be Full of Joy Every Day

A powerful message to Christians living in fear is that sharing your faith ignites your joy. There’s nothing more thrilling than knowing God just orchestrated a conversation and gave you the words to say, that changed a life in front of you.

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Show Notes

A powerful message to Christians living in fear is that sharing your faith ignites your joy.  There’s nothing more thrilling than knowing God just orchestrated a conversation and gave you the words to say, that changed a life in front of you. Find out more about how God’s joy can be yours — even in the midst of your problems — and how your joy will remain full.

Host Barry Meguiar is a car guy and businessman who hosted the popular TV show, Car Crazy, on Discovery Networks for 18 years. He loves cars, but he loves Jesus even more! Learn more about Barry at IgniteAmerica.com.

Get your copy of Barry’s book Ignite Your Life: Defeat Fear with Effortless Faith at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and other online booksellers.

Learn more about:

Visit Why Share on IgniteAmerica.com to learn why it is important for every believer to faithfully live God’s Great Commandment as a means to help move everyone, every day closer to Jesus. Faith Sharing Stories are video stories of people just like you having fun sharing their faith and helping to provide the spark of revival. Sign up to receive emails that will bring you practical faith-sharing tips and powerful inspiration.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Ignite, I wanted to talk to you on the subject of happiness versus joy. It’s a big subject. In fact, I covered in my new book, “Ignite Your Life,” it’s that big of a subject and I can’t go into all that right now. But, but on the surface, you do have this joy, you know, have a joyful Christmas have a happy Christmas. It all sounds like the same thing, but they are decidedly different. Happiness is… it’s fleeting. It comes and goes, you know, you and I will both experience happiness. And probably unhappiness several times today. You know, I made the sale, I lost the sale, I, I had a great conversation, I had a great meal. The meal wasn’t so great. I, I was late for this. I was early for that. There’s a million things that bring us happiness. But then it’s followed by something else that doesn’t bring you happiness, you get some bad news and your happiness goes. As opposed to Joy. Joy is not affected by circumstances. It’s just not, you have joy. The question is, how do you get it? Yeah, you know, I’m going to talk to you about sharing your faith. That’s the whole point of our ministry. But you wouldn’t think that sharing your faith is connected to joy, would you? I mean, you just wouldn’t.

It surprised us back in 1973. Karen and I, from the get-go of our marriage, we were married. I give you our real age. We were married in 63. Okay, so we’re working on 60 years of marriage. But in our earliest years, we were in church, we were serving, we volunteered for everything whether we had the time or not. We we gave sacrificially. We’re doing everything right, but we had no joy. In fact, we were biting at each other a little bit. And we talked about, where’s the joy? How can we be doing all this for God and there’s no joy? And so we started praying. We just said, let’s pray for joy. We need joy. How do we get to joy? We had no idea. We never heard a sermon telling us this is how you get joy. I’m going to give you that message right now. So I went to lunch or we went to lunch and luncheon at our church. It was Santa Ana First Assembly of God’s 50th anniversary and the pastor, God put me right beside the speaker for the day who was Herb Ellingwood and Herb at that time was the legal affairs secretary for Governor Reagan! Really giving my age okay. And I had an hour of energized, I can’t really say conversations because he talked nonstop. I didn’t interrupt him very much. But God knew what I needed to hear and I wanted to hear about Reagan. I wanted to really pray in Reagan’s office in Sacramento. I had all kinds of questions but, but he never mentioned Reagan and I never thought about Reagan because he talked nonstop for an hour about his faith sharing experiences. And he went on and on and he’d be laughing, he’d be crying. And, and guess what? Last night he was going off. I never seen such a joy. I’ve just never seen that. And I walked away and I broke in tears and said God I want what he has. I want what Herb has, I want that. So Karen and I talked about a lot. We said well, we’re going to give it a go. We did. And we’ve been sharing our faith up to that time a little bit, you know, kind of traditionally not having a lot of success but having success. And we started doing it and doing it more regularly and you know, it’s like anything, it’s like you know. You can start shooting baskets after a while it started to sink in some of those baskets and you started share your faith and all a sudden it starts to get a little bit easier like anything else. It was only about two or three weeks later Karen and I were laughing about something and I turned her, I said Karen we have joy. What? We have joy! Where did it come from? Hey, that sharing your faith thing seems to work. It does. And it was after that it was two or three weeks after that that we came across John 15:11. That’s the last parable that Jesus gave in the in the garden and he talks about the fig tree, the parable of a fig tree and He talks about how you know the dry branches thrown, will be thrown in the fire, whatever. Oh, but when you bear fruit ah, therein you’re my disciple and my joy will remain with you and your joy will remain full. Wow. Look it up John 15:11. Well, the great verses of the entire Bible He tells you how to have joy. When you bear fruit when you bear Christians. When you live for God’s purpose, his joy will remain with you and your joy will remain full. Wow. Especially when things go wrong.

Yeah. Especially, I mean stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. It’s happened to us. It’s happened to you. Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen. Yeah, I have all these problems. And I talk to Christians all the time, they’re so beaten down by their problems. And they’re so focused on their problems. Where’s God? Woe is me. Bill Gothard gave a concept back in the 70s. I’ve never lost it. Thank you, Bill Gothard. He said, You know, God is far less concerned about what you go through than He is in how you respond to what you go through.

But by what standard, do you measure good? What is good? All things work together for good, what is good? It doesn’t matter what your standards are. A better one is God’s standard? All right. The threshold verse in this podcast and every podcast, I’m sorry, I gotta go back to Romans 828. All things work together for good. Okay? Good will you live for His purpose? To seek and save the lost. To lead everybody everyday closer to Jesus. God’s version of goodness is souls. Okay, it’s souls. And you know, when you have joy in the midst of your problems, it’s powerful. One of the things I get so often: oh sure Barry, you got a beautiful wife and a business, and car. I, of course he’s smiling. Of course, he has joy. If you read my book, “Ignite Your Life,” you’re gonna find out that Karen and I have been through hell several times. But we’ve never lost our joy. Don’t let anything, don’t let anything rob you of your joy. Nothing. And you do that by sharing your faith. It’s so simple. It’s profound. And yet we’re not doing it. Only 1% of us are doing it and no one understands this message. So for most of you this is, this is profound news.

Let me tell you about Mrs. D’Amato and she of course is in my book as well, in “Ignite Your Life.” Precious lady ended up dying, pain from cancer they could not stop. And she ended up the last two or three weeks of her life in the hospital. They couldn’t stop the pain. I kept getting daily reports for the D’Amato family. It was tearing me up. And I went to her funeral mad at God. You know, God puts up with us. You put up with me, God. I have a way of talking to God. I’ve yelled at God. You know, God I don’t think God has a problem with our emotions. He has problems with their indifference. When we just walk away. I don’t care. When we have issues with God, He’s big enough He can take it. Where are you, God? Where are you? I don’t get it. So I went to her funeral and wow, I was so mad. I mean, steam was coming out, smoke coming out my ears and everybody around me knew it. I don’t get it. I did not keep it quiet. And then three different nurses got up and each told their own poignant story. Kind of the same story but in their own way. How each one of them had had had nothing to do with God. Were totally secular until they met Mrs. D’Amato. And they had rarely seen anybody who had suffered that much pain that they couldn’t control, that was for a reason. That was for good. Mrs. D’Amato didn’t know that the time, that it was for good. Her pain was excruciating, but her joy never ended. Her joy never ended. All three of those nurses determine that God is real because of her joy in her pain. One nurse said, as I was walking down the hallway of the day she died I heard her singing hymns. Oh do you think when Mr. D’Amato got to heaven, that she told God off and gave her a piece of her mind? Why God did you do that to me? Of course not. Three more people. Three more souls are Heaven because of that temporary pain, don’t you think Mrs. D’Amato was praising God? That’s joy! Having nothing to do with sacrifice, circumstances at all. You’re going down the road and you’re you’re getting to a meeting and you’re running a little late and you got to be at that meeting and oh you get a flat tire. Where are you God? Oh, thanks a lot, God. Where are you what I need you? Now I gotta get a AAA guy. Or you could look at and say, okay, what are you up to God? And the guy that comes in, does your tires, not in a good mood and hurting and you ask a few questions. You found out that his son just committed suicide the night before and you have this opportunity to love on him. And if you’ve not had that flat tire, you never would have that opportunity. He brought you two together for this divine encounter. And later on, you find out that meeting was canceled. That’s the way God works. When when things go south, look around.

We, we were flying to Manchester, New Hampshire. Karen and I had to go on a car tour with some dear friends. Driving some old cars through the fall leaves. But we got hung up in Chicago, bad weather. And by the time we got into Manchester, we’re the last plane in. And then we got to the last turn about for baggage and our bags were the last bags off. In fact, it stopped and then started again to get our bags off. We walked outside, and they’re supposed to be a black car waiting for us out there and it was not there. So I started calling and I found out that they have lost track of the driver. They don’t know where he is and it’s now one o’clock in the morning and and they need to find somebody for us and we’re an hour away from our hotel. And they’re in panic, my secretary Cathy is in panic, she doesn’t know what to do. She’s trying to do everything she can. And we laughed. Also, they announced the airport is now closed and the lights turned off and I checked the door it was locked. And that, only then did we notice that there’s not a soul in the airport, not one person, not one car, not one taxi, not one person. It is closed. It’s probably a quarter-mile loop there for that airport so we could look across. There wasn’t one person we’re all by ourselves out in the middle of nowhere. Karen and I have had so many surprises in our lives that we just don’t pay much attention to it anymore. We know it to the point of being upset. We do pay attention and say okay, God, you’re up to something. There are two benches there. I remember telling Karen, do you know there’s fortunately there’s two benches, one for each of us. She said okay, great. It was a warm evening. We wonder what was up and we just said you know, there must be somebody God wants us to talk to tonight. Kathy ends up finding some guy who who drove a client up to Boston was deadheading back. And she got him. I don’t know how. Thank God. Thank you God. Of course it’s God. So he came by and picked us up as we’re driving away we had tell him the story. He says what was going through your minds? Really? You really want to know? We decided that there was somebody God wants us to talk to tonight about Him and he yells, oh my God I can’t believe this is incredible! What? Why, is my life is a wreck? I, everything everything is going wrong in my life. I’ve been said I need God, I need to get into church, I need to talk to a Christian and all sudden you’re in my car and we drove that X hour sharing with him and the Scripture just flowed. He said, God put you in my car. Yeah, He did. We got out. We sat there three o’clock in the morning hugging each other and praying together. A wonderful time when we got to our beds to our bedroom and sat beside our bed. We were so excited. We didn’t want to go to sleep. Now take away the spiritual side of that. If we didn’t have joy, and we didn’t have joy telling you about Jesus that was just another night. We would say that was a night from hell, it’s three o’clock and oh boy are we beat. Where were you God? Complaining about it all the way and moving everybody further away for Jesus. But when you know that God is up to something in the midst of the bad stuff. It is just amazing.

One last story. We get on the plane and all sudden Karen and I are divided. Okay, we’re we’re two different rows. Karen sat down first I looked her I said okay, God is up to something. And He was! He sat me down next to a lady from India. An executive lady, very put together, very professional has an office at a condominium and in in New York City. Turns out she’s three blocks away from Times Square Church my home Church in New York City. David Walker it’s his church I helped found and I started telling her about it and she got so excited. I gave her one of my books “Ignite Your Life” that our website IgniteAmerica.com. I gave her all the info, she would just take it she couldn’t wait. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. All because God divided us up. Now I could have been all unhappy and you know, where are you God? And not had any joy and taking that in an entirely different direction. But when you’re living for God, you realize God’s always up to something. When he wants everything to be good and it doesn’t go good. It is good. You just gotta look for it. In the midst of it all. No matter what in the, on your worst days. I got far worse stories of this. Dying in a hospital whatever. Never lose your joy. See you next time.

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