Joy in Every Day

I've never been an optimist, probably because I grew up in a somewhat cynical family. My tendency is to see a dark cloud on the horizon and forget that this moment in sunny.

But this does not build a joyful life. God calls us higher--to a life that is perfumed with joy, one that's stuffed to overflowing with unshakeable joy.

Joy is different from happiness.

Happiness is outward-focused. You can be happy that your coworker brought donuts to work today or happy that you finished your taxes.

Joy is focused inward. You have joy in resting your identity and security in Jesus. You have joy knowing that He is a just judge when it's hard for you to be impartial.

Sometimes it's difficult to look for those moments that center your life on joy, but here are a few thoughts to help:

  • It's not the big things. I have a sign on my desk that simply reads {joy}. It reminds me to look for those moments in parentheses, not the loud exclamation point moments, but the quiet, understated whispers of joy--a walk on a spring day, wearing your favorite sneakers, drinking coffee as the sun comes up. Let those moments soak into your soul.

  • No bad day is pointless. Yes, it feels like it sometimes. But that is never the case. God, who sees beyond what we can imagine, had you live this day for a reason. Maybe you can't see that reason yet, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. How have our bad days shaped us? Have we grown?

  • Connection builds joy. I'm not talking about gossiping at lunch break about your coworker. I'm talking about sharing deep personal struggles with someone who can identify with you. Find someone who connects with your heart and make them a regular part of your life.

  • Have a healthy perspective of self. When we are egocentric, either super-sized or undersized, our failures and successes take on a whole new dimension. There is joy in knowing that we can both succeed and fail without becoming a egotist or a failure.

Changing our mindset from negative to positive takes time, effort, and patience. But God calls us to the sort of life that radiates His joy.

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