1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
An inexpressible and glorious joy, doesn’t that sound wonderful? I don’t know about you but I want more of that in my life. The question is how do we get it and keep it even through all of life’s trials and tribulations.
First we need to understand that joy and being happy are not the same thing. The world often thinks they are interchangeable but Christians know that isn’t true.
Happiness is a temporary feeling that results from our circumstances. When things are going good, we feel happy and when they don’t, we don’t.
God’s joy is not temporary. God’s joy endures forever because God’s love for us endures forever. God’s joy doesn’t depend on circumstances. Jesus is the source of our joy. Our joy comes from having a relationship with God, now and forever.
Of course, when bad things happen we are going to feel bad. That’s part of being human. God doesn’t want or expect us to not show emotions or pretend we’re OK when we’re not, but he doesn’t want us to get mired in the muck of our emotions.
John16: 2 0
Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
Psychologists say that it only takes twenty-one days to form a new habit. So, I’m giving you the twenty-one day challenge. For the next twenty-one days, I challenge you to be joyful.
Write some Bible verses about joy on index cards and read them each morning to remind yourself to be joyful. Each morning, ask God to be in control, submit your emotions to Him and ask Him to help you to be more joyful throughout the day. Here are a few specific ways to make your day more joyful.
1. Smile at others for no particular reason.
2. Control that temper at work and at home.
3. Sing-just for the joy of singing and if you must, then dance!
4. When road rage threatens, imagine that the person in that car is your preacher, your best friend, or your boss. And then wave and smile at them. You’ll feel better.
I think one of the keys to more joy is to develop patience with yourself and others. If you can be patient, then you can hold all that anger and aggravation in abeyance. When you aren’t patient, you will spend your day in turmoil and at the end of the day, you will be drained and anything but joyful.
But if you can develop patience and learn to hold your tongue and not react, you will see a change not only in your behavior but in your feelings. Many people say, “I don’t have patience.” If you are a Christian, that’s not true.
The Bible tells us we do have patience, but we must work to develop it.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
SHARING TIME: I’d love for you to share your stories of how you keep your joy when others around you want to steal it.