The Road to Joy
Updated: Jan 30, 2019
Author and pastor John Piper writes,
Sadly, most people, including Christians, live their entire lives knowing or experiencing only a fraction of the joy available to them. Once their early childhood has elapsed, people unconsciously tend to "write" scripts that block or limit their ability to see and experience joy in their lives. Furthermore, it is scientific fact that our brains have been “hardwired” to focus more on negative rather than positive thoughts.
The absence or limitation of joy adversely impacts our relationships, such as family, work, friends and community. Also affected are facets of our own personal character, such as the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects of our well-being. The lifestyle of modern industrialized cultures has given rise to lives filled with stress, overburdened by time demands, and overwhelmed with information. We are being driven further into system overload which increasingly isolates us from experiencing the joy we were meant to perceive.
But joy is not just a feeling experienced deep within our soul. Joy is a state of being! Further, joy is not synonymous with happiness. Being joyful is the foremost manifestation of the power of Christ’s love working within our lives.
Oswald Chambers puts it this way:
Hebrews 12:1-2 says,
And James 1:2-4 encourages us to
Do you feel that joy has eluded you? Have you searched for joy but been unable to capture that deep-seated feeling within your soul? The good news is that joy is within your grasp!
Pastor and author Max Lucado, in his book, The Applause of Heaven, gives us some steps to understanding and moving forward in the process of creating a joyful life:
Then Lucado describes the following steps to joyful living:
This is not an overnight process, as you can imagine. But it works, absolutely. And as Lucado says, it’s worth every bit of the effort. I suggest you start the process by doing some honest soul searching. Spend time in prayer and write down the things in your life that are causing you difficulty: spiritual, mental and physical. They may be such things as resentments, financial difficulties, relationship problems, job dissatisfaction, feeling a spiritual disconnect from church or God or both, procrastination, health issues, loneliness, depression or anxiety.
The list should include anything that is keeping you from living joyfully. Then admit to yourself, to God and to another person that you need a reconstruction in your life. Don’t do this alone. Get some help from a spiritually mature friend or your pastor. Once you’ve made this admission, you will begin to feel a sense of freedom.
(This week’s blog was brought to you by Tom Acey of the Awakening the Joy Within© program. You can read Tom’s bio below. If you would like to read more of his compelling story, receive Tom’s weekly blog, and/or get more information about the Awakening the Joy Within© program and other programs from Joy Now, Inc, please visit www.livejoynow.com.