Dictonary.com defines ‘joy’ as follows:
- the emotion of great delight or happiness caused
by something exceptionally good or satisfying;
keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son’s success.
What brings you joy, or ‘great delight?’ For me, it can be a few quiet moments with a cup of hot coffee while my son is content on his playmat or napping, hearing my little boy’s laughter, all the laundry folded and put away, a sink empty of dirty dishes, or a surprise package in the mail. These are just a few of the simple things that make my heart happy.
We can receive joy from many things in life, but our true source of joy should come from the Lord. If we are constantly seeking joy from our possessions or the people in our life, eventually we will be disappointed. You see, if you hadn’t already figured out, people are imperfect and can never live up to the expectations that we don’t mean to, but do, place on them. And the things we own can break, rot, or be taken from us.
Life can change in a moment, and when our circumstances change it can be hard to be joyful. In trying times, whether the cause is work, health, finances, family, or friendships, we should look only to the Lord to help us to choose joy.
If something is bothering me, there are a lot of distractions I can use to try to cheer myself up – and while some of these distractions are useful and beneficial- if I am not seeking the One who satisfies the deepest longings of my heart, then I will always be left wanting.
If you’re having trouble finding joy right now, spend some time with the Lord and see how your perspective about your situation changes. Write down the things are you are thankful for, and focus on this list instead of the negatives.
Psalm 16:11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
What an awesome reminder in Psalm 16. He will fill us with joy in his presence.
I have many close friends and family who are living in unimaginably difficult circumstances. If you feel the rug being removed from under your feet, run to God and find your strength in Him. Remember the joy of the Lord is your strength, and in Him you can do all things. I find these truths even more powerful as a new mother. It is not by my own strength that I am able to be the mother and wife that God has called me to be.
I encourage you today to choose joy and remember where you and I can go to find the true source of joy – the presence of God.