Have you ever wondered, what is joy?
Our society places a lot of emphasis on being happy. Checking out at the grocery store, we're bombarded with covers displaying what should make us happy, how to become happy, and who is or isn’t happy. We find ourselves chasing after a thing or person we think will make us happy. Should we get this thing, we would feel happy. Only, the happy feeling that set off the endorphins in our brain would surely not last nearly as long as we thought it would... Not much later we'd be back to chasing after something else that makes us happy. What so many fail to recognize is much of what we seek will never truly satisfy us.
What if you're chasing the wrong thing?
Many books have been written on the subjects of happiness and joy. There are wise and wonderful people who give wonderful strategies that are worth exploring. We’d like to propose a Christ centered solution.
Happiness is a feeling.
Joy is a state of being.
Joy is fuller, it's richer, and comes with a deeper spiritual meaning, expressed through God's goodness. We become joyful when we are doing what God intends us to do. As we move closer to Easter Sunday let's focus not on our happiness, or those things that bring only temporary satisfaction, but on becoming joyful.
The Lord gives his people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to him. - Dwight L. Moody
We are meant to be joyful because God is the source of joy.
One great way to be joyful is to practice gratitude. Each day, write down the things you are grateful for. Count your blessings and thank the Lord for each one.
You will start to see more and more of what God has done for you. Over time you will rejoice in where you are and your need to obtain “checkout-line happiness” will diminish.
Challenge: Each day this week, take 10 minutes to write what you are grateful for.
Check back next week for Part 3, where we dive deeper into gratitude.
*If you are experiencing depression, there are additional steps you should take. Please seek help from a professional and talk to someone you can trust.