I had a conversation with another Christian recently about the role of joy in our lives. I stated that while God never promised us that life here on earth will always be easy and happy, we can choose to live a joy-filled life regardless of our circumstances. Their argument was that they are not a bubbly, boisterous person and people shouldn’t try to force them to express feelings of joy and gladness. I admit I was saddened by this person’s view of joy in our lives because I think they are missing one of God’s blessings. What makes one person go to worship God with a smile on their face and a light heart and right down the pew from them is someone who looks like they’d rather be anywhere else but at church? What makes one person with a terminal illness look at all of their blessings in God while the next patient throws a pity party over their bad luck? I think the difference is some people are mired in the difficulties of this world and others are looking to the hope and glorious riches we have in Christ Jesus.
I’ll finish this post with a passage from 1Peter 1:3-9 as a wonderful reminder of why we should live a joyous life. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade- kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”