We started with love, the GOAT! Now let’s dive into its good friend, joy.
Scripture tells us there are a lot of ways to express joy. You can shout with joy (Leviticus 9:24). You can celebrate with joy (Leviticus 23:40). You can even weep with joy (Genesis 45:14)! There’s dancing for joy (Judges 11:34) and you can find joy in people. Joy is associated with thankfulness, peace and even with having wisdom.
Joy can also come alongside other feelings. On the original Easter Sunday, when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to visit Jesus’ tomb, they were quite surprised to see the stone rolled away from the entrance. Of even more wonder to them was the fact the tomb was empty. Scripture shares with us that “the women were very frightened, but also filled with great joy” (Matthew 28:8).
In times of hardship, sadness or just general uncertainty, Scriptures about joy can bring comfort, peace and hope. Verses like James 1:2-3 which says we should consider times of testing as “pure joy,” for the testing of our faith grows faith.The testing of our faith grows faith. Click To Tweet
Perhaps the coolest thing about joy is that is learnable. We can learn to discover joy in our most difficult moments. When we seek to find thankfulness, we also find joy, as well. Surely you’ve seen the Pinterest inspiration that contains reminders that instead of complaining about all of the laundry, be grateful for clothes to wear.
Even if you’re a glass-half-full person, having consistent joy requires a lot of repetition. We have to purposefully and regularly exercise our desire to be joyful. One method for doing this is a gratitude journal. Daily writing down three to five things you’re thankful for not only brings you to a place of joy in the moment, it’s also something you can reflect on when times are harder. Just how looking back on old photos can refresh your memory, reflecting on good things can bring joy back into focus.
A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be fancy or another task to weigh you down. It can be as simple as taking a moment to type in three things in the Notes app on your phone before bedtime. Or, if you want a little something involved, the Day One journal app allows you to add pictures and feels more like a journal. You could even start a “Things That Bring Me Joy” board on Pinterest!
How will you train your joy? I’m going back to my gratitude journal. I’d love for you to share how you are mindful of joy with #strengthofcharactertraining.