My husband, Jeff shares his thoughts on how to live with greater joy. This is Day 2 in his 5 day devotional:
"I’m excited to share with you a bit more from my book The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose, and Balance. (If you missed day 1 click here)
Before we dig deeper into how you can experience greater joy, it’s important that we differentiate joy from happiness. Happiness is circumstantial: When work, our kids, our health, our marriages and our finances are in a good place, we’re happy. Who wouldn’t be? But when those things take a turn for the worse our happiness can begin to evaporate.
Joy, on the other hand, is not connected to circumstances. Joy is more a state of mind. It’s a paradigm and perspective.
For instance: The apostle Paul’ talks about having joy even when he was imprisoned because:
· He knew God loved him
· He was still doing what God called him to do (share the gospel) even though he was in jail
· He was trusting that somewhere in the midst of his messed up situation God had a better plan (If Paul hadn’t been in jail, maybe he wouldn’t have written half the New Testament for our benefit)
· He knew he was spending eternity with God.
His faith was real. For him, faith wasn’t a religion or his culture or some folk lore. It was his spiritual reality.
So what about you? When in the past have your circumstances and lack of faith sapped your joy? When in the past have you experienced joy despite difficult circumstances?
How can you live with the second paradigm more consistently?
My encouragement is for you to read the bible and find out what God wants for you, what He wants from you and what he cares about. Then align your life with those things. The natural outflow will be a life of loving Him and others. It’s a sure fire pattern for living withjoy, freedom, fearlessness, energy, enthusiasm, and clarity… regardless if your circumstances.
In tomorrow’s blog I will share with you my “Master Plan” which gives you some practical ways you can start moving towards the type of joy that Paul talked about. Joy, not based off what’s going on around you but based off what you know in your heart.
Another reason to tune in tomorrow is because you will see how fitness and food are connected to joy.
If you want to get some answers to that last question, you can download and read the first 4 chapters from my book The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose, and Balance . The free download is only available through October 17th.