I admit it.  I was eavesdropping.  I was literally at the edge of my office door, pretending to do something else while I listened to the happenings in the room next door.

For a short season I had the privelege of doing office work for one of the most amazing women of God.  Her and her husband with the leading of the Lord helped to start the largest missionary organization in history.  It was an honor to just meet her and her husband, but to work for her?  Such privilege!

And there I was eavesdropping on her conversation.  And what she said was startling.   So startling that I passed on her private conversation to others.

You see Darlene was teaching a leadership conference via Skype and I wanted to listed in.   I’m so glad I did.  She was teaching her students on how to sustain themselves as leaders for the long-term.  And there it was.  She gave her two secrets which everyone who knows her knows she lives:

The secret to sustained leadership is to cultivate hope and joy.

I was literally taken aback.  Well…not into my office.  I still listened in.

But hope?  And joy?

I was taught that hope was an enemy.  It will always leave you disappointed.

And joy?  I’d not been taught much of anything on joy.  Faith was a serious matter.

But again and again the truth of these words have true in my spirit and true in Scriptures.  And this morning it happened again.  I was reading and saw this truth, in regards to joy, shining forth.

Paul says to the Philippians, “I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith” (Php 1:25).

Paul is talking about his death, saying it is good whether he lives or dies.  But he says it is good for him to stay, “for your progress and joy in the faith.”

Joy in the faith.

Joy is not only a fruit of the spirit, but it is a mark of maturity.  It’s a sign of good theology.  It’s a fruit of faith.

For each of us we are to be growing in our “joy in the faith.”

In working with others our role is to continue for their “progress and joy in the faith.”

How beautiful is that?


What kind of God makes joy the mark of his children?

Just one more reason why our God is so good.