When life doesn’t turn out the way you expected, do you find it hard to be joyful?
Are you tempted to complain when circumstances around you are less than ideal or life disappoints you in some way?
Do you confuse being happy with being joyful?
Happiness and levity of heart are temporal and are usually controlled by things that please us. Maybe someone made your day by bringing you a coffee or you found $20 on the ground, and that made you happy.
Or the opposite, perhaps you are sick or have a mountain of laundry or dirty dishes that need to be washed, so you feel overwhelmed and unhappy.
These are emotional highs and lows that come and go and are based on how we feel about life at that moment. Life is good, so we are happy. Life is bad, so we are unhappy.
Joy is different because it is not based on circumstances or how life is going at that second. Joy is based on your confidence in Jesus Christ.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that is supernaturally produced in your heart. It comes in abundance when you are dependent on God and He is central in your heart and mind.
I can’t give you tips for producing joy, because it’s not something you conjur up. But I can tell you some of the outward characteristics of a life that is joy-filled: peace of heart and mind, thankfulness for all of God’s blessings.
A woman that is joy-filled is also love-filled, peace-filled, patience-filled, self-controlled-filled, goodness-filled, meekness-filled, etc…because the fruit of the Spirit is singular fruit. (one set of qualities)
She is overwhelmed at the blessings that she has in Christ (read Ephesians 1-3) and even when her circumstances are not ideal, she has confidence that God is too good to let her suffer needlessly. She knows that He has “good and not evil” planned for her.
Just because someone is smiling, does not mean that life is perfect and rosy. But, when our confidence is in the Lord, we can count even our trials as “pure joy.”
(p.s. you can still be joy-filled, even with a sink of dirty dishes. )