JOY-We have all met someone that exuded joy. No matter their circumstances they have a smile on their face and a word of encouragement on their lips. It is not forced, but rather it flows from their very pores. I love to be in the presence of these people. They want to know how the other person is and without even knowing it their joy in life rubbed off and we walk away with a spring in our step and a lighter heart.
If we love to be round people that overflow with joy, then what do we need in order to have this joy. First, we must realize that joy is not based on circumstances, but rather it is our attitude toward our circumstances. If our attitude in life is based on the circumstances in our life, then we will never have joy. However, if our attitude is what affects our circumstances then we possess joy. Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it.”
Our daughter, Denise, had a rough couple of years. At 15, after suffering with intermittent symptoms underwent an eight hour brain surgery to remove a cavernous angioma. This is a tangled bunch of blood vessels that she was born with. Hers began to leak blood and this caused the symptoms she was experiencing. After waiting for six months for her skull to completely heal, she was able to return to playing soccer. After playing for almost two months, she tore her ACL and was sidelined for nine months. Again, this was a bizarre injury that caused me to shake my head and wonder why this happened. Through all of this time of being on the sidelines and not able to play soccer, or do many things that an active teenager enjoys doing, she had a great attitude. Through it all she never complained, she never pouted, and whenever she talked with anyone she always had a spirit of joy that flowed from her life and lips. (When she gets up in the morning this spirit of joy is not always presentJ).
We are all faced with challenging situations in life, but how do we choose to respond to them? How do we choose to interact with others despite the challenges in our own lives? Are we joy givers or joy suckers? When we interact with others, do they walk away from us with a spring in their step because we over flow with joy, or do they walk away with stooped shoulders and hung head because we were a joy sucker? The sad thing about the joy sucker is that even when they suck away all of our joy, they are no more joyful than before they interacted with us.
I am reminded of the verse in Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The birth of Jesus brought hope and joy to the world. Those of us that believe and have a relationship with Jesus need to let the joy of the Lord flow from hearts and our lives.