Have you ever given much thought to joy? I’ll be honest, I hadn’t really until this summer. It seems that as I grow, I recognize how little I really know, and how much there is for me to learn. I recently thought about joy for a little while, and I concluded that it would be amazing to be joyful no matter what. It’s easy to be joyful when everything seems to be going well. I was feeling like things were grand this weekend; work went well on Friday, and I got paid. That night I got to talk to a friend on the phone, and it made my day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and it’s great to get texts, emails, and facebook messages, but actually talking on the phone just puts a smile on my face! (Thanks for the phone call, Rachel!) Then on Saturday I got to go fabric shopping with my mom. Apart from the eye injury from the lovely bolt of fabric that decided to fall on me when I reached for the bolt next to it, shopping was great! I found fabric that I love for dorm room curtains! Sunday I went to church, and then I spent most of the day crocheting a blanket that matches the curtain fabric really well. It’s easy to be joyful on days like those!
Then there are other days…days that I just feel like crying because work was stressful and exhausting, or something happens to make me feel insignificant; it can be very difficult to be joyful those days. Somewhere during this summer, I’ve realized that whether or not I am joyful really comes down to where my joy comes from.
I can find joy in things like phone calls from friends, successful shopping trips, paychecks, and good work days, but those things are temporal. When there are no phone calls, shopping trips, paychecks, or good days at work, what becomes of the joy found in those things? It vanishes. I’ve come to realize just how important it is for my joy to be found in the Lord. This world is constantly changing–even the most monotonous day isn’t identical to any other day. If joy is mostly found in earthly things, it’s reasonable to say that joy would be up and down like a roller coaster. However, God is constantly the same. Joy found in Him will remain, even when everything seems to be going terribly wrong.
In God, we find a reason for joy no matter what we face. His mind-boggling love for us is cause enough for us to be joyful. Psalm 31:7 says, “I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” Because He loves us, we can be confident that no matter what comes our way, He is sovereign and cares about the things we’re facing.
What is the source of your joy? Does your joy come from the temporary things or from God who is unchanging?
“…All who seek the Lord will praise Him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.” Psalm 22:26