Happy Saturday, dear gal. Thank you for dropping in today. I hope your weekend is exactly as you need it to be – either laid back and restful, productive and smooth or full of sweet conversations and fun activities. Take your pick! I just hope you get what you need at this point in the holiday season. Speaking of the holidays, I thought today we’d talk briefly about the beauty of joy.
When I think of Christmas and the surrounding holidays, I think of joy. That’s the goal, right? To feel joyful during these days of remembrance and celebration and anticipation? And joy is such a beautiful emotion or attitude.
Joy radiates. It starts with an ember of delight planted deep within a willing heart. But then it’s fanned into full flame until it warms that heart, causing it to treat others with gentleness and kindness and encouragement. Joy is contagious, too. Like a gently burning fire that warms all those who pass by, a woman filled with joy touches the lives around her with a little hope, a few kind words, a gracious smile and maybe even some well timed laughter.
I love being around joyful people.
A woman with joy maintains a sense of humor during difficult days. Her lips turn up into at least a bit of a smile even when those around her have lost theirs. She has a lilt in her voice and a pep in her step. Her words remain hopeful and, even when the prospects look dim, she still has a measure of courage to keep going.
Plus, joy is just fun. When we have joy we stop taking everything so seriously. We let go of offenses and grab hold of potential. We look on the bright side and hum to ourselves. We laugh out loud and help others to loosen up, too.
Joy is beautiful.
Here’s What I Know About Cultivating Joy
Joy is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life (Galatians 5:22-23). A person who has been redeemed and is walking with Christ has every reason to be full of joy. In fact, to be joy-less is to indicate that something is wrong with that crucial relationship.
Joy isn’t dependent on the people in my life. I can’t expect other people to give me joy. If joy is a result of knowing God and having Him within, then people can neither be responsible for giving me my joy nor steal it.
Joy isn’t circumstantial. My level of happiness may hinge on my circumstances, but joy hinges on the completed work of Christ. So if I have joy it should prevail even when times get tough.
Joy is contagious. So I can spread some joy. I can also benefit from being around people who are full of true joy. That’s why it’s so important to me to attend church on Sundays and be a part of a vital and lively small group of believers.
Joy is a choice. Paul exhorted the Philippian believers over and over to choose joy (Philippians 4:4-9). In tough times, in good times, with difficult people and with easy-going folks, we can choose to rejoice. Choosing joy may include:
- going for a walk when I’d rather lie on my sofa and sulk
- smiling when I’d rather pout
- joining in when I’d rather sit this one out
- counting my blessings instead of my troubles
- believing God’s got this instead of fretting
- pressing on instead of backing out
- singing a song when I’d rather cry
Joy gives me and others around me strength. Nehemiah encouraged the people not to be grieved but to remember that, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” When I choose to tap into God’s joy, it furnishes me with resolve and courage and strength to press on. My joy can also give my family and friends strength, too.
As Christmas approaches, let’s think seriously about whether or not we are women of joy. Let’s evaluate whether our days are characterized by worry and woes or joy and laughter. Regardless of our circumstances or those around us, let’s choose joy. And here’s to spreading a little of that joy with those we love and those we meet this Christmas season.