How God Can Become Our Joy
As children of God, we are called to be joyful. Countless Bible verses emphasize the importance of joy, and the word rejoice actually means joy. Psalms 95:1 says, “Sing joyful songs to the Lord!” Psalms 98:4 says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” And Psalms 32:11 says, “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice. O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
But what about those times when you can’t find joy in your heart? On those days, you need to work a little harder to let God become your joy. Use these tips to build joy.
1. Offer thanks to God.
You should constantly give thanks to God. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, St. Paul the Apostle writes, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.” Every morning when you wake up, think of three things you want to thank God for. Write them down.
If you can’t think of anything new, get more granular. For instance, if you’re thankful to have a home, be thankful for running water or heat. If you’re grateful for your dog, focus on his fur or how he greets you at the end of the day. Over time, the practice of giving gratitude to the Lord will build joy in your heart.
2. Delight in the Lord’s creations.
As Psalms 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” In addition to giving thanks, find ways to delight in God’s creations. Stop to notice ants on the sidewalk, look at the beauty of the sky in the morning, or even marvel at the creations that God’s children have made in the world.
3. Meditate for joy.
God made you, he loves you, and he has a plan for your life. As 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.” Sit quietly in your temple. Clear your mind, and meditate. Simply give yourself a few minutes every day for meditation.
Over time, this will help you to feel more joyful, and you will come to a deeper understanding of your existence. As written in Psalms 49:3, “My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.”
4. Give to others.
Joy cannot just come from within. If you want God to become your joy, you also need to give to others. Find big and small ways that you can be kind to others. For some people, this means giving up everything and living a life of charity, but it can also mean smiling at strangers, helping your neighbors, and being loving to your family.
5. Find inspiration in the Bible.
Regardless of how hard you work to become joyful, you will face trials in your life. There will be hard times. In these moments, you still need to look for God to be your joy. As James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
Romans 5:3 echoes this idea: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” When you’re feeling down, pick up the Bible and look to God’s word for help and joy.
Now go forward and use these tips to increase the joy in your life. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” — Romans 15:13