Blog by Polly Boyette
I can remember going to the office early one morning and getting my usual breakfast from the vending machine, a honey bun and a diet coke. Not a healthy breakfast but satisfying. As I sat down at my desk and began to unwrap my honey bun I heard the voice of a co-worker. Her name was Betty and I had only known her for about a month. She walked straight into my cubicle as if she was walking with a specific purpose. She sat down on the corner of my desk, leaned in very close to me and in a whisper said to me, “I want what you’ve got.”
I didn’t know what to say. I was a bit disappointed, but I broke my precious honey bun in two and reluctantly offered her half.
“Not your honey bun, silly. I mean I want what you have inside. There’s something about you that’s different from anyone else here. You have a spirit of joy that I’ve been searching for and haven’t found. You laugh so easily, but it’s genuine. You make me laugh. Where does it come from? How can I get it?”
I was at a loss for words, but relieved that it wasn’t my coveted honey bun she was after. I hadn’t really talked to this lady about God or my faith at all, yet she sensed something in my life. After getting over the initial shock of her approach, I began to explain the source of my joy to her. It was confidence and trust in God.
Sometimes we forget that our sense of humor is a gift from God and we forget the impact that gift can have on others around us. A lighthearted spirit can be just the refreshment someone else needs. It attracts people to us. We tend to laugh less and worry more when we have more on our plate in our busy lives. We try to get through things just by gritting our teeth and telling ourselves to be strong. But God never asked us to do life that way.
As Christians we should display a joyful countenance to those around us. Too often we rely on our circumstances to dictate whether or not we feel joyful on any given day and then we transfer our mood to others, but our joy isn’t dependent on our circumstances.
I love this quote from Charles Swindoll, “I have discovered that a joyful countenance has nothing to do with one’s age or one’s occupation (or lack of it) or one’s geography or education or marital status or good looks or circumstances. Joy is a choice. It is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God—that he is at work, that He is in full control, and that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen.”
I’m not saying we should laugh at our circumstances, but we should learn to have joy even in our circumstances. Our circumstances may change many times throughout our lifetime, but our joy should not change. Because the “joy of the Lord is our strength.” We find joy in our circumstances when Christ is the center of our life because He never changes. He is our constant source of joy. He is a constant source of strength. Having that knowledge lifts the pressure and helps me to walk through whatever life throws my way.
Psalms 16:11 says, ” You will make me to know the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy.”
Have confidence in God and out of that confidence you will find joy and strength. I guarantee you will see that joy and strength transfer to others around you. Always make sure your joy is showing.