How can we have joy in everyday life when we are constantly bombarded with news, stress, and difficulties?
Since the pandemic began, joy has been hard to find, with so many people being ill or out of work. Personal problems and loneliness have magnified in the past two years.
Last year I studied joy through different studies, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end. Each study provided new insights on the joy of the Lord.
God dwells in joy, which is our strength. God’s Word give us joy. Joy can overcome sorrow. The Holy Spirit restores joy within us.
Joy is a choice for each of us.
My word of the year for 2022 is joy.
It will challenge me to find joy in everyday life, on the good days as well as the difficult days. It’s easy to confuse happiness with joy. Happiness depends on external pleasant circumstances that can quickly change. Joy is internal, experienced in the heart.
In reading the Psalms, joy appears 57 times and rejoice appears 43 times. When considering the historical struggles of the Israelites of following God and wandering from Him, or dealing with personal sin and repentance, it’s interesting to note that these two words are a part of the worship book of the Psalms. Joy and rejoicing appear in the midst of life experience.
An example is in Psalm 30:5 and 11-12, written by David.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
You turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
The lesson is true for us today—life gives us sorrow, but joy comes from the Lord.
Joyful faith pleases God.
The man who was my youth pastor had a big impact on my faith. I wanted a faith like his. What was it about him? Looking back over it, now decades later, I think it was because he had a joyful spirit. Joy was a part of his faith. A few years ago I reconnected with him, and it again struck me—he still had a joyful faith, a big smile, and cheerful spirit.
A joyful spirit is attractive in this angry world. While it may aggravate some people, living with joy pleases the Father in heaven.
C.S Lewis said,
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
Joy, a fruit of the spirit, is to be evident in our lives.
Joyful faith comes through seeking the Lord and growing in His ways. Even on the tough days or seasons of life, the joy of the Lord is our strength to overcome. (Nehemiah 8:10)
My desire is to grow in a joyful faith that is not dependent on moods or circumstances. Choosing joy is a deliberate decision. Will you join me in choosing joy? God will meet each of us with joy in his presence.