Living with joy should be a discipline we seek to employ in our everyday lives, just as is praying and meditating on Scripture.  God has enabled us, through Christ, to live this way.  In Nehemiah 8:10 the prophet says the joy of the Lord is our strength

In his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, John Ortberg describes the need to pursue joy through practicing celebration.  Just as meditating on scripture or fasting produce a better relationship with God, celebrating while reflecting on how God has blessed us will also transform our lives. The joy created out of celebration will not grow by chance.  It will be choked out by the weeds of busyness if we don’t take deliberate action to make it grow.

Psalm 118:24 says this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. This day (every day) is God’s day.  It is the day God made, a day that Christ’s death has redeemed.  If we are going to know joy, it must be this day – today.

We are all attracted to someone that is a joy-carrier.  They breathe life in those around them.  You know who they are because it is the people you enjoy being around more than others.  Similarly, we should avoid regularly being around those that reject joy.  They will suck the joy right out of us. 

In today’s society, depression has replaced anxiety as the common cold of emotional life.  Suicide has skyrocketed as a cause of death, particularly among young people.  A disciplined, joyful life can overcome the most tragic circumstances handed out by this world.  

My encouragement to you today is that you will deliberately try to celebrate more this next week with your family and with God. It’s easy to overlook the grace God manifests every day of our lives.  We tend to take the good things for granted and look for the bad things.  Make it your mission for the rest of today to look for the good things, no matter how small they might be. This could start a new disciplined habit of constantly looking for joy.

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