Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “I wish I had what they have”? If so, you’re not alone and if you answered “no” then you need to repent for lying =)
I think everyone at one time or another has done this. The “I hate my job, life, situation, etc. bug” has bitten us all and that’s OK. But I can remember a friend once told me, “If you’re not happy where you are, you won’t be happy when you get to where you think you want to be”.
Learning to be happy and finding joy in your present moment is key to living a happy life. I call it having a heart of thanksgiving. Yes, that means even if your job is horrible and doesn’t bring you joy, find a reason to be thankful. Do you have food, clothing and a place to live because of that job? Then be thankful, as many people are living on the streets and struggling to have any one of those things.
You can honestly apply this to anything and in any area in your life. I am not saying this is easy or playing down what you the reader might be going through, but, in all things, we can all find a reason to give thanks!
We live life as though joy is an option when really it’s not unless you want to live sad, depressed and make others around you feel the same. I do believe with all my heart that our joy matters to God and that it’s essential to living a Kingdom life. To look around us and see all that is going on and still realize that joy is possible is the first step BUT it is truly up to us to take that first step. We must stop putting the burden of our joy onto others or giving that much power for our joy to be because of others.
The Bible is full of scriptures referencing “joy”, in both the Old and New Testament.
Psalm 97:12 NIV “Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.”
Psalm 100:2 ESV “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
Psalm 32:11 NKJ “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
Even in hard times, we are called to rejoice which seems to be a crazy concept, BUT honestly, what does complaining and allowing our joy to be stolen away really do? NOTHING!
Matthew 5:12 NIV “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Luke 6:23 NIV “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”
Luke 10:20 NIV “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
We have hope in all things and in all times. Paul pointed this out and it should be a constant reminder.
Romans 12:12 NIV “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16 NIV “Rejoice always”
And there is scripture after scripture: Philippians 2:18, Philippians 3:1
What do you think when you hear the word “joy”? Do you see your problem and start your list of excuses OR do you see Jesus and His completed work at the cross? It’s up to you to find hope in this world and we as believers can find it in the Word and the completed works of Christ every second of every day.
Our joy is not meant to be based on how or how bad we see our life but instead, how we see our God. If you’re struggling today, then it’s time to see God as who He really is, a loving Father who gave His Son as a price paid for you to have life and have it more abundantly.