My wife put up three simple letters on our fireplace mantel while decorating our home for Christmas this week: J.O.Y.
Joy is a far more dynamic force than most of us realize. It has the power to reignite our passion for laughter and celebration. It can free us to rise above endless demands as we become more content and thankful. It can change unchangeable circumstances and bring a peace rooted in the remarkable love of God. There’s a deeper power and purpose to this mighty virtue. When you feel stuck in the rut of discouragement, there’s no greater gift than rediscovering joy.
Against all odds, I’ve found my own capacity for joy expanding, and I’ve discovered something quite startling: When we fight back with joy, we lean into the very presence of God—the One who will fill us with it even on our most deflated days. No matter what your circumstances, you can practice defiant joy.
It’s my hope that you may you be drawn closer to Jesus this Christmas. May you find yourself in awe of God’s goodness no matter what you’re up against. You can discover to embrace a way of living that’s deeper and fuller than you’ve ever known—a life radiant with joy. It’s the weapon you can use to fight life’s toughest battles and the joy of the Lord is our strength.
Remember that happiness is a something that is related to our circumstances. I have learned that having peace and joy in Christ is much more important than the emotion of happiness. Joy is one element in the fruit of the Spirit. If we allow the spirit of God to live within us, then joy will naturally develop.
True joy (not as the world gives) is part of the evidence that someone knows God.