elusive joy

“If we don’t rejoice today, we will not rejoice at all. If we wait until conditions are perfect, we will still be waiting when we die. If we are going to rejoice, it must be in this day. This is the day that the Lord has made.” 

“Nothing is too small if it produces true joy in us and causes us to turn toward God in gratitude and delight” 

I love this thought. Recently joy has been elusive in my life, especially right now when my circumstances are not as I want them to be. This quote is taken from John Ortberg’s book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted. This quote helps joy not to be such an escaping idea.

I never realized, until recently, how much I let the conditions in my life dictate my joy, or lack of joy. I‘ve always been a very positive person and many around me would say a joy-filled person. Looking back over my life much of that was because I was okay with the conditions in my life. Now, they have not always been easy conditions, but I was always at peace with my conditions. Since I was at peace with what the conditions were in my life I found it easy to have joy. I found it easy to spread that joy to others. I found it easy to pull joy out of those around me who were joy-less.  I found it easy to be thankful for all that was in my life, even the times that were hard.

I’m afraid I have come close to making a 180° on this joy issue. Now, that I am in a place where I am not completely sold on the conditions that are my life, I have less joy. I still have joy, don’t get me wrong, but there has been a lot less of it lately. I am realizing that this is due to me basing my joy off of my circumstances, and not on Christ.

While I may not be getting everything I want right now, God is giving me many wonderful blessing to help cultivate that natural joy he has created me with.  I naturally have a joyful outlook. It’s weird and feels unnatural to find joy elusive, but that’s why I love this quote. It reminds me that there is joy in everyday life. Joy is NOT elusive for those who follow Christ. God gives you and me things each day to cultivate joy deep within us, and to draw us closer to him.

This is not a new lesson, but one that I am learning in a new way. To reflect on that fact that every day God is giving me something to give me joy brings me joy. Looking back on to today there have been some moments that have not just lead to joy, but brought real joy into my life. This joy has caused me to turn to God with graduate and delight.

Here are two things that brought me some joy today. 

I got to spend time with my sister today. My sister and her husband have been hit left and right with hard conditions in their life recently. It is amazing to see them trusting in God more. I have seen their faith grow leaps and bounds through these trails. It really is a beautiful thing to see and it brings me great joy.

 Coffee…I had a great cup of coffee today. Coffee always makes want Christ more. I know that might sound funny. But whenever I have a cup of coffee I want to sit down and have a real conversation with someone. If I can’t do that I want to sit down with a good book and my journal. Those are all things that cause me to reach out to God more. It is the little things that get me. 

Today is the day the Lord has made! 

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