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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Joyless Living

Each new day provides us with an opportunity to experience the joy found in living. This is true regardless of who we are, what we have been through and what may be going through.

Simply because, joy is always available to us should we choose to accept it.

For many, this is a difficult statement given the myriad of issues they may have faced or are facing. Things like hurts, pains, and wounds past and present often will not allow someone to see the joy living brings.

If we are completely honest, the problem is joy is often confused with happiness. While happiness can certainly be a byproduct of joy. Joy is not predicated on our happiness.

Joy is so much more.

Consequently, when happiness is the measure, the result will be “joyless living”.

As a person of faith, I have learned my joy can only be found and sustained when I focus my heart and mind on Jesus. This is true because He is the source of all joy and the only way to keep me from experiencing “joyless living.”

A true irony is this kind of statement is often met with hostility by those who refuse to consider the possibility it may be true. The question for me has always been if you are experiencing “joyless living” why would you rail against something others attribute to bringing joy to their lives?

Why wouldn’t you consider the possibility it could be true?

Instead, animosity and anger can be seen by those who are opposed to Jesus. This is both unfortunate and sad at the same time. It is unfortunate because it accomplishes very little and sad because this perspective compounds their joylessness, and it is something people choose.

Even as I write this, I know there are those who become irate when they read the name Jesus. Once again, the question is why?

This life is a gift to be cherished. Each new day is opportunity to live and to love. Here is where joyful living can be found. It cannot be found in focusing on our past, our mistakes and people who have hurt us.

You see, joy is found in seeing life as the gift it is. Joy will never be found if we continue to compare our life to someone else’s. Unless the one we compare it too is someone who has given His life for all of us. Someone who did so for the joy set before Him.

That someone is Jesus, and that joy is seen each time someone chooses to believe He is source of all joy!

So, if you find offense in what I have written, I ask you to consider if you are living a joy filled life or are you choosing “joyless living”. If it is the latter, I simply ask are you finding joy in your choice? If not, why not choose differently!

James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

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