I’ve often said that I was born with an extra large bucket of optimism. I remember the one day a consultant came walking through my door at work and commented on how I always had a smile on my face. However, optimism and a smile is not necessarily evidence of joy.
Joy is something deeper. It’s not about emotion or circumstances, but a perspective, a mindset that holds us through life’s circumstances and the emotions that follow. To acquire that perspective . . . that mindset requires a choice.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”~Henri Nouwen
A quick pass at the Old Testament and we see evidence of joy in the stories of blessings, abundance, victory. Enter into the New Testament and we see evidence, in the hope of the gospel, of joy that no one can take from you.
“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”John 16:22
Our journey as followers of Jesus and believers in the hope of the gospel is to walk this path into the fullness of joy through Christ.
“And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith”Philippians 1:25
The journey to joy is just that … a journey. We walk it daily.. It’s a thousand individual choices throughout each day. It’s not a one-time choice. Sometimes we will choose it. Sometimes the circumstances and emotions will get the better of us and joy will seem more elusive. That’s what a journey is all about, steps and missteps. Therefore, we continue to press on with hope in Christ with the knowledge that joy will find us if we follow Christ on this journey.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”Hebrews 6:19
Hold on to hope…
Joy is more than optimism or a smile. It is anchoring deep into the hope of Christ every single day. Sometimes it may feel like being joyful is work. Yet, if we pursue Christ we will see that joy will flow out of that journey.
Share a comment: How are you seeing Jesus today that makes your heart rejoice? How does having a joyful heart and mind impact your life and the lives of others?