This morning’s church sermon was about joy. More specifically, about how joy is NOT dependent on our circumstances. This concept really got me thinking… Because it’s SO true. And I think it is something that many of us can relate to.
Joy is something we all strive for… Right? Philippians 4:4 says: “Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind”.
With that being said, we should always be joyful in Christ, no matter our circumstances. During the blessed moments in life, it is easy to have a heart full of joy. However, Jesus wants us to be joyful, even during the trials and hardships that we face. This is because we can ALWAYS find joy in Him.
I will be the first to admit that this concept is something that I struggle with, daily. I am not always joyful, even though I wish I was. More often than not, I find myself consumed with the many different aspects of my life- school, work, fitness, family, friends, holidays, etc. Being so wrapped up in the craziness of life, it is challenging for me to maintain a joyful attitude all the time. But, as I develop a deeper relationship with Christ, it is becoming easier to carry a joyful heart.
This morning our paster spoke about how joy isn't something we can manifest or create for ourselves. And it’s not something we will find through worldly objects. Joy is given to us by Jesus and through our relationship with Him.
Often, feelings of entitlement can rob us of our joy. When we have a mindset of being entitled to things, we will always be let down. This is for many reasons-
1. If we are constantly seeking joy, we will never be content with the present. Think about it. Many of us spend great amounts of time working towards buying a new car, a new house, etc. While these things may provide us with immediate joy, it will certainly be temporary. However, we are assured that the joy we seek through Christ will be everlasting. One of my favorite verses is Romans 15:13: “May the God of Hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
2. We are not entitled to anything because Jesus has given us all things. From our families, to our jobs, to our homes. He has provided everything for us. And in this alone, I find great joy because I am forever grateful for all He has provided in my life.
3. Attitudes of entitlement can make us very selfish beings. Let go of the entitlement and give more. It is proven that giving to others will increase your joy. Now, I don't mean you have to break the bank, and buy Christmas gifts for friends and family. Just simply give what you can. Whether it’s a listening ear, a ride to work, or a home cooked meal, we all have something to offer.
Whenever you are struggling to find joy in your life, I encourage you to turn to Christ and be grateful for all He has provided for you. Easier said than done, I know. Even so, I can confidently say that as I work towards a life full of everlasting joy, I know the reward will be far worth the struggle.