Searching for JOY?
We’ll sing about it. We’ll talk about it. It’ll be written on Dunkin Donuts® cups, displayed in storefront windows, featured on radio broadcasts, and scripted on Christmas cards. And during this holiday season, it’s supposed to come to us naturally. But, does it?
Is joy your natural response when another driver cuts you off? Does joy come to mind while standing on a long checkout line? Is it joy, or something else that is most easily felt when you’re required to be in two places at once? Perhaps in those instances and especially during this season, you’re actually spending a lot of time searching for joy.
Take a look at these words:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
—1 John 1:1-4
Your roadmap for JOY
Joy is and has always been about God, rather than about us, our way of doing things, our traditions, or our history. Start with an eternal perspective and realize our place in the grand scheme of things. There’s a divine process to understand and to honor.
Other people need to hear God’s word. The Gospel is visceral and accessible. We’ve heard it. We’ve seen it. We’ve touched it and it has touched us. The Gospel reaches deep. It completes, heals, redeems, and makes us new. We’ve touched and been touched by grace.
You have been given life, so be a life-giver to others. Share more than words. Let your life be a proclamation of transformation. You have been given a second chance, so freely give second chances to other people. You know what it means to be widely and deeply loved. So love others in the same way. Share what you have, as well as what you know. As grace has found its way to even you, share it with others.
Remember the heart of fellowship. The Scripture says “We proclaim to you … so that you may have fellowship with us … and our fellowship is with the Father.”
Joy is all about His restorative presence.
by Chris Stoker