One of the most obvious evidences of our walk with Christ is joy. The word joy appears 218 times in the Bible. Deep joy should be a constant quality in the life of a follower of Christ.
Happiness is more dependent on your circumstances. Things go well at work or you get a raise you feel happy. You feel really glad when your favorite team wins, and especially happy when they go to the Super Bowl. But what if your team loses? What if you don’t get the raise?
Joy and happiness are as different as a thermostat and a thermometer. One indicates what is going on and one controls what is going on. The problem with happiness is that it does depend on happenings but joy is directly related with our walk with the Lord. It is great to know that no matter what comes our way, we can have joy because our faith and hope is in Jesus.
Jim Grassi, in his book, Heaven on Earth mentions some ideas for having a joyful life:
* Don’t take yourself so seriously; nobody else does.
* Givers are more joyful than takers.
* Enjoy the little things of life – there are so many to choose from. Focus on the possibilities of tomorrow rather than the defeats of today.
* Recognize that your ultimate joy comes from knowing you are a child of the King. You are assured of eternal life without pain, suffering, or despair.
* Focus on joy when undergoing trials. Paul, who was tested, and tortured, 31 times talked about joy. He knew there would be trials, disappointments, threats, pain, and suffering. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (James 1:2).
* Joy is a deep inner peace that transcends temporary feelings of happiness.
* Joy comes from Jesus, not from your journey in life. He is the ultimate companion and friend who will never leave you or forsake you.
* Joy is experienced in the fullest when you take risks and stretch your faith. The joy of the Lord is my strength (Neh. 8:10). Look beyond your circumstances with an expectant heart knowing that you will have sufficient courage from Christ (Phi. 1:20).
* Don’t let worry or fear steal away even a moment of your joy. The temporary struggles and pain you experience are just that – temporary.
* There is a natural joy that comes from knowing the final chapter of the book – you are His. Your time on earth is like a drop of water in a huge lake. The real issue has to do with where you will spend eternity. If your heart and mind are set on eternal issues, then your joy comes from knowing that the foundation of your faith is secure, no matter what circumstances come your way.
Keep the Son in your Eyes,