“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4
There’s something that seems to be missing among Christians these days. It seems as though all of our joy is gone. It seems like song after song, sermon after sermon, day after day, we’re all talking about trials, tribulations, and just getting through the going through. Now, yes, I’m glad there are songs and sermons that address these things. I think they’re much needed. However, sometimes I feel as if that’s all I hear.
As Christians, I think we’re supposed to be the most joyous people on the planet! Yes, I understand that life happens. We experience pain, loss, and grief, but I also know that even in these things, we have Jesus. When we have Jesus, we have a supernatural hope that allows us to be joyful even in the midst of the hardest times. If we can’t think of a single thing to be joyful about, then the very fact that Jesus has been raised to life, and we’ve been rescued from death to life and we have an eternity up ahead full of spending time with the God of the universe, then that should be enough to cause a well of joy within us. This joy may look differently depending on our season of life. Of course, we’re not expected to laugh when we’ve lost a loved one, or shout from the rooftops when we’re facing the loss of everything we own. But in everything, there’s a joy that can be expressed in all seasons. Whether that joy looks like a calm peace and confidence in God that’s deep within us that allows us to remain unshakeable despite the hardship, or the freedom to laugh and live life to the fullest where God has called us because we know we’re free and safe in Christ.
The world is looking at Christians, and one thing the world needs is true joy. Jesus is the only source of true joy, and those without Jesus should see this source of joy within us. So how do we well up this joy within us when it doesn’t come naturally?
- Gratitude. There is little more powerful in a person’s life than constant gratitude. The fact that God has woken us up today is a reason to be grateful. Do you have a job, a car, food to eat? Give thanks for that. A grateful mindset can change our whole day and will evoke joy in our hearts and remind us of God’s unfailing provision.
- Go where you’re called and do what you’re called to do. When we do what God has equipped us to do, this evokes joy in us.
- Serve, serve, serve. We are much like Jesus when we’re serving. Serving evokes a joy in us because we’re acting as Jesus would—and He knew the formula to joy.
- Remember all that God has done. When we remember what God has done in the past, the miracles He’s performed—even if it’s the miracle of the salvation of our souls—we’ll be filled with joy of His faithfulness.
- Trust God. So many times we get bound up in worry, anxiety, fear, or trying to figure everything out by ourselves. God never calls us to do this. He calls us to trust Him and allow Him to lead us step by step (Proverbs 3:5-6). When we face every day trusting Him to lead us, we’ll be free to just follow and obey Him, wherever that may lead. It’ll take the loads we were never meant to bear off us and free us up so we can walk forward in His joy.
Remember, Jesus has literally set you free from everything. Death, sin, guilt, and all of the chains that once bound you no longer hold you. You’re set free. Jesus came and died so that you could have full, true, and abundant life in Him (John 10:10), and that includes joy.
So let’s take a moment to check our “joy meter”. If you haven’t been joyful lately, how come? Is there something restraining you from this joy? Take this to the Lord and see what needs to be laid at His feet so that you can walk forward in His fullness of joy. Joy is His will for you and is a powerful testimony that shines bright in the darkness. The world needs what we have, and joy can bring them straight to it. And joy wouldn’t cause any harm to us, either. So let’s get our joy on!
Until next time,
Hebrews 12:2, “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”