… I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
- Luke 2:10-11(KJV)
Searching for Joy
As we look back, I would assume that most of us have found the best and deepest times of growth in the hardest times of our lives. In the hard times, the daily challenge of looking for gratitude and positivity can be a difficult process. Well-known author Ann Voskamp has exemplified the practice of seeking gratitude by counting her blessings up until 1000. The habit of seeking positivity has changed her outlook, and healed her mindset. Ann Voskamp teaches that this train of thought can be learned with transformative effects. As there are days that go well, it is in the times when we are buried in hopelessness that we find ourselves needing to search for joy. Uncertainty and despair present us with the choice of searching for joy when our circumstances tell us otherwise. Unfortunately, the best way to learn hope, is being in hopeless situations.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” – Henri Nouwen
The Bible speaks several times on joy, and as Christians, we have the knowledge to be joyous, free people. As Henri Nouwen says, it doesn’t just happen, it has to be learned, practised and observed. Our social circle, the content we read, and the time spent with God can drastically change our perspective. I’ve found that if I cannot change my circumstances, I can choose to change my perspective. I have been given the control to change my mind. I would challenge you to observe your thoughts, challenge your thinking, and see how your thoughts shape your days.
“The most repeated command in the Bible will probably surprise you: Be happy. God tells us more than anything else, in different ways, to “praise the Lord,” “do not be afraid,” “rejoice,” and “give thanks” — all of which are commands, in essence, to be happy.”
The continued practice of searching for joy is something that can power us through this season of restriction. The good news is, that we can choose to seek what we can do, oppose to our limitations, for that is something we can cling to, to keep moving, surviving and seeking the light.
“ Joy Blooms wherever and whenever people are empowered to bring about their own transformation.”
–The Practice Co.