In a world where we are constantly bombarded with discouraging news from the media and overwhelming day-to-day demands, it can be easy to develop a monotonous, pessimistic attitude towards life. This mundane lifestyle is a slippery slope that has the potential to lead to an overabundance of routine that can significantly limit your quality of life.
As Christians, we often get caught up in abiding by the rules and guidelines, trying to be responsible, superlative citizens and believers. While this is definitely necessary to living a righteous life, these standards can be exhausted to the extent that there is little excitement or adventure in your life.
The Lord created us to be full of joy and delight, not to stress over things that are out of our control and live in repetition. John 15:11 states: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
In order to live a life that truly glorifies the Lord, you must strive to exude love and jubilation. Give thanks and praise for all of your blessings, delighting in thanksgiving for every person and gift in your life.
The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is incredibly accurate—it boosts your immune system and helps reduce stress signals in your body. People who laugh often tend to live longer and have an overall higher satisfaction with their life.
This innate reaction is no coincidence, for we were created to thrive and prosper on joy and cheer. Proverbs 17:22 states: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
This is not to imply that in order to live fully in their faith, Christians must maintain a constant state of happiness. The joy that is described in scripture principally refers to a spirited sense of well-being that accompanies the internal presence of Christ and the acknowledgement of his good works.
The joy we were created to exude is not derived from things of the Earth or worldly prospects. It exists in us because of God’s good grace. No amount of money or fortunate circumstance could ever produce such comfort and elation.
To be intrinsically joyful, one must simply know and praise the Lord. The secret to eternal happiness and everlasting life is so accessible and available to absolutely everyone, all because our Lord loves us and sent his son Jesus to die for our sins.
However, our joy is greatest when experienced and radiated with others, rather than merely rejoicing in solitude. We were created to engage in fellowship with one another and share in the gratification of the Lord, not just because we are naturally creatures of community, but because our souls yearn for the company of other believers.
So by all means, live responsibly and according to the rules—they were set in place for a reason. But do not become so caught up in them that you neglect to chase after the things that make your heart happy. Do not forget that we are remarkable beings created to serve and rejoice in the Lord, and that means living intentionally, taking delight in everything we do, and continuously giving thanks for our exceptional favor.