“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8
Hello darlings. It’s been such a joyful day! Speaking of joy, that’s what this blog is going to be about if that’s okay with you. Now, if you knew me a few years ago, or even probably one year ago I’m sure you would notice that I am on a completely different level on the life enjoyment scale now than I was then. If you haven’t noticed, you probably don’t know me very well now or didn’t know me very well before. People have asked me what the difference is, and I always feel like I don’t answer that question as well as I should. I guess the truth is I’ve never really stopped to think about the difference, because I don’t really like to think about my sad days at all really in fear they’ll make me sad all over again. But I decided that that was stupid so I took some time to really think it through. Basically, the difference is first and foremost Jesus. When you really taste and see that the Lord is good, it’s hard not to have joy. I mean if you ever really think about how good God is… it’s just incredible. He is truly all we need. That being said, I’ve narrowed down some practical little life changes I have made that have made all the difference in the world. DAF- decision, attitude, focus. sorry that my acronym isn’t more clever. If you think about it backwards it spells fad. (I know that still isn’t clever but at least it’s an actual word)
When I realized my lack of joy was a real problem, I had to make a conscious decision to change it. If you don’t choose every single day to make an effort to fix yourself, no matter how much you want to change you absolutely will not. There’s no getting around that. First of all, you cannot experience true joy while you’re living away from the center of God’s plan for you. It’s impossible. For a time that was my problem. I was searching for joy so hard and I was getting so discouraged that I couldn’t find it, all the while knowing that there was sin eclipsing the sun that I didn’t want to get out of my life. Once I decided to get rid of that and start pursuing hard after Jesus, life suddenly went from absolutely bitter to absolutely sweet.
After I decided to get rid of the distractions from joy, I had to decide to change my attitude. This one is huge. Have you ever heard anything along the lines of “if you say you’ll fail the test, you’ll fail the test?” This concept really does apply to life- if you go into a day thinking you’ll have a bad day, you’re going to have a bad day. We all have things that we like to do and things that we don’t like to do, and we all have to do things sometimes that we really would rather not be doing. But have you ever noticed that the people that complain about going to school and the people that don’t complain about going to school both have to go to school the exact same amount of minutes, one just does it with a frown instead of a smile? See, life is way too short to complain about the things that we have to do. You still have to do them, and if you think you’re going to hate it then you’re definitely going to hate it. Having the right attitude makes life SO much more joyful, I promise. Look for the good in every situation and I promise you, you’ll find it.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Finally, it is about where you put your focus. This world is a really shaky foundation. If you focus on the things of this life, you will ultimately find no true joy. Maybe you’ll be happy for a little bit, but eventually the ground will give and your happiness will turn into sadness, leaving you empty and searching for something else to fill the void that only Jesus can fill. We all want to be happy, but the difference between happiness and joy is that joy doesn’t go away! If your focus is entirely on Jesus, the one who doesn’t change, you will always have joy. No matter what happens in your life, no matter what brings you happiness or takes away your happiness, you will always have a joy and a peace that surpasses all understanding. He does not give as the world gives.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
I wish you all happiness, but when you don’t have that and life is being mean to you, I hope you ask the Lord for joy, because joy has gotten me through some of the hardest things I’ve had to go through with a smile on my face. I have so much love for all of you! Remember, DAF. 😉