Not many of us talk about joy these days. If anything we talk about happiness. Joy seems so much farther out there than happiness, and if we can’t even get to happiness, what chance do we have to go for joy?
But joy is exactly where God wants us to be. He wants us to see a sunrise and to marvel in it, yes. To give Him glory, certainly. But also to have an overwhelming joy fill us up and beg to be set free in the world!
A child’s first words. A baby’s first steps. A sunrise. A sunset. A perfect cup of coffee. The grateful eyes of a stranger you have just given a smile. A simple word at the exact right moment. All of these can bring joy if we let them.
One of my most favorite things to do to friends is to throw my arms open and express my joy at seeing them again with a giant hug. I’ve gotten many strange looks doing that, but after awhile, people get used to the fact that I’m weird and just learn to join in my joy.
Joy is not meant to be horded. In fact, it cannot be. Joy is meant to be shared.
When you got that good news, what did you want to do? Get on the phone and tell everybody you could think of. When that promotion comes through or that award is announced, you don’t want to be standing there alone. You want someone to share it with! That is the wonderfulness of joy—that you want to share the intense, immense, overwhelming excitement and happiness with everyone!
Find joy. Don’t be embarrassed by it. Take a walk in the park, and let yourself feel joy. Sit outside on a chilly night just listening to God speak through nature. Play an instrument. Sing a song. Write a poem. Find a little joy. Bring someone flowers. Cook someone a meal. Send someone a card. Spread some joy.
Joy collapses chaos. Joy stands as a reminder that God is good no matter what is going on. Joy is one thing that Satan absolutely hates. He wants us to be miserable and wretched. Joy shouts from the highest rooftop that we are blessed and ecstatic with life!
Never underestimate the power of joy.
Dear Lord, I’ve been content to settle for not being unhappy, or even not as unhappy as everyone else. I’m tired of settling. I want to experience real joy. Show me how.
Sit with God for a few minutes.
Record your thoughts.
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008