“May all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout ‘The Lord is great!'” ~Psalm 40:16
For the past two weeks, I have experienced something that was previously unfamiliar to me. Joy. Not happiness. I’ve been happy plenty of times in my life, but circumstances always change, and I find myself unhappy as easily as I find myself happy. But for the first time in my conscious life, I noticed that my soul has been on auto-good mood. I’ve been harder to make distraught, and I’ve been smiling for no good reason. The biggest clue to me that my mood was “joy” was that at the end of each day, I was able to say “I had a good day!” and it had nothing to do with what happened in the day. My default-setting is “good.”
Some of my habits have changed over the past couple of weeks, and I believe they are contributing to my joy. First of all, I started meditating daily (and I expect I will want to write a separate blog about that). Second, I have made a point to spend a few minutes everyday intentionally worshiping God. Third, I have taken to focusing my daily devotions on whole epistles (I am currently in Philippians). Some other things have been changing as a result of these three daily changes, and over all, I have found one thing: God himself is the source of joy. This seems obvious to believers. In theory, we all should know and believe that God is the source of joy, but it’s one thing to believe with your mind that this is true, and another thing entirely to actually experience the truth of that statement. As I make a daily decision to look at God and seek to know him, He shows me that he is ineffably wonderful. I couldn’t blog about the experience accurately if I tried for a thousand years, and it is that reality that causes me to continue to pursue him.
I get it now. At least, I get it more than I have before. He is showing me bit by bit that He is better. The more I focus on him, the more I see that he’s better. And that is Joy.