“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16:11, ESV
If there was ever a need for joy in our world, it’s now. But can we really expect anything more than the resonant discord and blatant disregard for humanity that runs rampant in our streets and across our airwaves? It’s true the world with its plentiful array of extravagant resources can bring moments of happiness, but lasting joy—never.
The culpability for our lack of contentment doesn’t lie at the feet of fallen humanity. Can darkness bring forth light? The lack of contagious joy in our world rests at the heart’s door of Christ followers who fall far short of being the conduits of joy we’re purposed to be. If believers adopt the despondent mindset of fallen humanity, what hope do we have for joy to permeate our society?
Christians are called to be lights in the darkness, to exhibit joy in the midst of mundaneness and sorrow. A believer’s heart holds the one necessary ingredient for joy—the love of Christ. Joy issues from an overflow of that love. Galatians 5:22 mentions the attributes of a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Love and joy top the list. One does not come without the other, and joy never precedes love.
Earlier this year our women’s Bible study group enjoyed Margaret Feinberg’s study, Fight Back with Joy. We were encouraged to rate our level of joy on a scale of 1-10. It was a sobering assignment and hard to be honest, but God already knew … so why not. An honest assessment was necessary in order to lay hold of a deeper, more abundant joy.
Because true joy is rooted in our sense of God’s fierce love for us, we were challenged to find joy in the commonplace. To look for “joy bombs” that God drops into the ordinariness of our day—a butterfly, that morning cup of coffee, the hug of a loved one, rain pelting the window, flowers dancing in the breeze. We found joy bombs everywhere. We’re still counting.
How about you? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your level of joy? I challenge you to experience a deep, contagious joy by looking for joy bombs throughout your day. Then to double the pleasure—pay it forward. Be a source of God’s love and drop joy into the life of another.