Many will ask, “What’s joy all about?” Whilst it’s impossible to answer that question with perfect fit for each person and their every situation, there are two things that beg we go their way.
One is latent; the other is active. One is a heart-thing; the other a decision of the mind. One is trained into us; the other is a responsibility we grasp in the moment. One is theory but fought for in practice; the latter is the practice, forging the former.
These two complement each other.
The first one:
1. Grow a Heartfelt Faith, Deep and Underpinning
This is consistent hard work though not without reward. It involves a commitment to training the heart so it contends faithfully as the heart can—once it’s trained.
Heartfelt faith can neither be fabricated on demand nor manufactured at will. It’s built slowly over the years and decades. No one gets their faith to blossom overnight. Faith’s engorged through what is endured, hard as that is to say; difficult as it is also to achieve.
But there’s no time like now to start or continue the commitment to allow God to build faith within us, and this penetrates deep at a heart level.
Faith goes against the flow of normality. Always does and always will. But what, then, is normality? Much blessing’s to be had in searching and finding answers to this question.
Now, the second one beckons:
2. Engage in Life with a Will to Be Happy Whatever Comes
This is equally hard work; now from the momentary perspective.
It is humility on tap to resist the poring desire to pity oneself or the urge to take heed of negative self-talk. Sure, we’ll fail every now and again, and some are challenged so far beyond themselves and their circumstances they’re exceptional. The principle of the will is, however, usually academic. Intentionality and decisiveness are its bywords.
We make a choice despite what we’re feeling. Feelings unchecked lead us to a never-land, and beyond truth they serve not our best ends, certainly with faith in view.
Can we see the expression of will requires faith from us? Faith is an action. This is the exemplification or evidence of the faith described above.
Number two here builds upon number one. The former is the foundation that Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:24-27. Foundations are crucial.
Beyond the foundation, nonetheless, we still have a choice. We choose to be at joy.
Joy is grown through expressing faith and in being decisive in choosing to be joyful.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.