Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Currency of Joy

This post is part of a blog carnival hostessed by Bridget Chumbley. You're invited to visit her at "One Word at a Time" and see what others are saying about today's theme: Gratitude.

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"What we take for granted is never ours
until we have bought it by pain.
A thing is worth just what it costs."
~ Oswald Chambers

Desperate people come to a place where they are driven either by despair to give up, or by resolve to persevere beyond all reason and apparent ability.

When King David hit bottom, he believed in God's promise to never give up on him. From a place of abject despair, he did not give up on God. Though he had committed adultery and murder, David had the audacity to ask the Lord for joy and edification:

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me with a generous spirit.
~ Psalms 51:12 (author)

In asking God to restore his joy, David asks for the spirit with which to take hold of it—a spirit of generosity, or noble liberality, toward God.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully... God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you ...
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NKJV)

Generosity comes easily from abundance. But in time of scarcity, generosity comes by sacrifice and great cost.

Generous expressions of gratitude to God for His blessings are fitting in times of abundance and easily sown. When thanksgiving and praise become a sacrifice—given from poverty, in famine of joy—it is not as easy to sow with a liberal hand. Yet if there will ever be a bountiful harvest, there must be bountiful sowing, even from a place of scarcity.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
~ Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

Gratitude is the currency with which joy is purchased. Joy eludes the ungrateful heart of complaint and discontent. The heart willing to sow gratitude with a generous spirit in time of famine will again reap abundant joy. In any economy, value is determined by the price one is willing to pay to obtain what one seeks.

To be desperate for joy offers a choice. Either give up, or pay out the currency of joy. It is tendered with gratitude, however high the price.

I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
~ Psalms 27:6-8 (NKJV)

"Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment ...
It is a sin that is its own parent.
It arises not from the condition, but from the mind.
As we find Paul contented in a prison,
so Ahab discontent in a palace."
~ Matthew Henry

My thanks to Ginny at "Make a Difference to One" for the Matthew Henry quote.
I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to
comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I especially liked your statement: Gratitude is the currency with which joy is purchased. This is something that we must ponder for it is so true.

  2. I think of the gift that David left for us -- all the psalms he wrote -- all the gratitude he sang to his (and our) God. Good post, Anne.

  3. Such a lesson to learn, to be grateful in all things--during all things.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Hazel Moon ~

    Coming from a joy pusher like you, that means a lot. Thanks! :D

  5. Glynn ~

    Coming from someone who suffered as greatly as David, psalms of praise mean all the more.

  6. Wendy ~

    Perhaps the Lord planned the gratitude:joy equation to provide motivation for us to be grateful for His many blessings even when trials tempt us to stop remembering.

  7. Such an important point you make, Anne. It seems a paradox, to be able to feel, in the midst of tragedy or loss of whatever kind, the joy that comes from gratitude. But we can, and do. Its potential is always in us and we are most apt to experience in relationship.

  8. Maureen ~

    Such gratitude indeed seems a paradox. But since our strength is found in joy (Nehemiah 8:10), we are compelled to practice what we don't understand. You have been a worthy model, Maureen, for whom I am grateful.

  9. many good things here to think about.

  10. "Generosity comes easily from abundance. But in time of scarcity, generosity comes by sacrifice and great cost."

    It is so true. When things are good, I'm all about praising Jesus from Whom all Blessings flow. But thanks during the lean times is much tougher -- and a much better measure of my heart

  11. Currency of Joy. I love that! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Powerful picture you paint here, Anne. I love it. From portraying gratitude as currency to David's audacity, wonderful post. Thank you.

  13. had to read this half a dozen times before seeing it...another miss.

    Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
    And uphold me with a generous spirit.
    ~ Psalms 51:12 (author)

    In asking God to restore his joy, David asks for the spirit with which to take hold of it—a spirit of generosity, or noble liberality, toward God.

  14. ...and it's been an all day chew.

  15. This blesses my heart big time ... major blesses! And I know you speak from experience.

  16. I love David's audacity. If it's one thing we see as a pattern among our Bible hero's is that they offered lusty, audacious prayers to the Lord. Perhaps we are too meek in out dialogue with the Almighty? It seems He appreciates a honest heart felt conversation. He encourages our prayers to never cease, then certainly He expects the full spectrum of feelings to be pronounced.

  17. Gratitude is the currency with which joy is purchased.

    I love the way you said this. Another wonderful post, Anne. Thank you!

  18. This is an interesting quote to use.
    For if I read this right because the gift of Grace is free then it is worth nothing.
    Then I must work for my forgiveness with great a sacrifice.
    Or is it that the most high sacrifice was given so that the gift that is free is worth my soul.

    Just a thought


  19. Nance Marie ~

    Yes. It is indeed good to find greater joy when one pays a higher price to attain it. :D

  20. David ~

    In all ways, I think adversity reveals the true character of our hearts. Perhaps that's why we need adversity, lest we fail to see the heart's true condition.

  21. Mari-Anna ~

    I'm blessed by your comment. So nice to see you here.

  22. Jason ~

    This isn't a new lesson. Just one I'm learning to apply again. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  23. Bud ~

    I thought this might be one to think on. I thought and searched the Word long and hard, then longer and harder to pull out this one.

  24. Susan ~

    I can feel your smile in your comment. I'm smiling too. :D

  25. T ~

    Perhaps we are too meek in out dialogue with the Almighty? ... expects a full spectrum of feelings ...

    I think you're right. I HOPE you're right. Now that I've experienced it, I'll be glad to never feel angry with God, as I did this year for the first time.

  26. Bridget ~

    Thanks! And thanks for the carnival. "One Word at a Time." What an ingenious way to never suffer writer's block. I'm always challenged by your one word.

  27. Unless it's free, it's not a gift. I suppose the argument might be made that value can be determined either by what the gift cost the Giver, or by what cost the recipient is willing to pay not to receive the gift, but to keep it. Many gifts could carry a cost to keep--a puppy, a car, a house. The more a Christian feels salvation is worth, the greater the sacrifice of love one makes for it.

    Salvation is a gift of relationship, available because of forgiveness. I'm not aware of any meaningful relationship that doesn't come with sacrifice. Perhaps some relationships carry greater sacrifices than others, and thereby become more valuable to have.

    Just a thought ... or two ... here. If it's of any interest, I have a few more here as well.

  28. I meant our not out. *rolls eyes* I do that often, but you already knew that. ;) XOXO

  29. "Gratitude is the currency with which joy is purchased."

    Wow, I think I'll be chewing on this all day. Thanks Anne!

  30. Anne,

    Of all the excellent and insightful posts you've graced us with, this is one of the best, IMO. So much wisdom here. Thank you. I'll be chewing on this for quite some time.

    May God bless you richly in this season of gratitude.

  31. T ~

    I knew what you meant. Our out is to go all out—yes? :D

  32. Tony ~

    Hi! Thanks for the comment at Jason's place and the Twitter follow. I'm blessed to hear that you found something here worthwhile. :D

  33. Gwen ~

    Thank you, dearest. This morning, as I was watching the sunrise, I was thinking about the brief message I'll be sharing with women at the jail on Thanksgiving Day. I want to slip in that when we're not sure how to love God, or how to pray, doing nothing more than giving thanks is quite adequate.

  34. When I am fighting for joy... battling the seriousness of life that likes to deplete any and all joy from my whole being... I have to hit the Psalms. The joy, the ROCK, the rejoicing, the heart of my Lord towards me ... all of those wonders and millions of others that flood my heart are what pull me out of the pit and get me moving again. During the tough times, the Psalms [and other scriptures] are what pull me through ...

  35. Caryjo ~

    I must admit that I sometimes set out to pray and either become distracted or start talking more to myself than God. But when I read His Word and let Him speak to me—when I'm doing more listening than talking—my soul never fails to be the better for it.


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