One of the things I really like about the life of a believer is that we are expected to live a life of joy.
However, if I look around, I see an awful lot of things that just are not joyous, nor do they call for joy, in fact, if we express joy in the middle of these tragedies, we’re seen as being disrespectful, irreverent even, senseless maybe, or naive, at best.
Our elders teach us that life is somber, hard; our behavior must be subdued. We can look severe at any moment, but light-hearted joy must wait for the right moment. If these admonitions are true, why does the Bible tell us that the joy of the Lord is our strength? Let’s face it, we need strength throughout our life, day and night, grave moments and delightful moments.
The first step in joy may just be looking around and ignoring the awful things and looking only at what brings joy. I’m working at looking at life through God’s eyes. Unlike what some Bible-thumpers say, I don’t see any evidence that God is always looking for what’s wrong, and that if we could see His face, it would be terribly sad with perpetual tears rolling down His cheeks.
No! No! No! He sees the perfection of things. He knows what He created, and He lives in Joy as He sees things progressing toward perfection. We don’t see the whole picture. We may see a naughty little boy when He sees a tender grown-up father which is being built into the boy. We limit our joy by what we look at.
So how do we enter Joy, because it is not like happiness, which we can turn off and on when we want? Joy is much deeper than dancing, laughing, clapping, etc. I do it by being grateful. I like to find at least ten things I’m grateful for each day. Pretty soon I simply bubble with joy. You may not see it when you look at me, but God sees it, and it makes Him happy. You’ll have to find your way into joy. It’s pretty important to the Lord, so make it a goal to live in joy.
The thing about Joy is that it is the bed of Faith. What we have by faith is so extraordinary, and God wants us to appreciate what He has done for us. Our expression of joy is our gratitude. It tells the Lord that we are dancing over Him, singing over Him in our hearts. And you know that everything with God comes in circles. He gave His Son, we receive His Son. We give to the Son, He gives strength to us. And we keep circling with God in a perpetual dance. He gives, we take, we give, He takes, and so on.
But it doesn’t come naturally. We’ve been too programmed for that. We must exert ourselves. Give God the joy that thrills His heart, and He will give you what thrills your heart. You might be surprised what Joy will produce.