Joy is our natural state of being. Let me say that again, because it’s a little hard to wrap our brains around that considering the state of mind in which we sometimes live. Joy is our natural state of being. I read a great book that talked quite a bit about this truth called “The Life Model.” A wonderful example of this reality is a young child. We have a two year old, and as long as he needs are met, he is in a state of joy. He smiles, laughs, and periodically runs up and latches onto my leg for affection. He plays in peace by himself at times, and engages with other kids as well. At the end of the day he crawls up in my lap, nestles his head into my shoulder and lets me rock him for a few minutes before I put him down for bed. He is full of joy throughout the day and finishes the day in peace and calmness.
This state of joy is available to us as adults too. The world tells us that chaos and difficulty are the overarching themes for our days. It further convinces us that overwhelmed is a much better description for us than joyful. Jesus invites us to participate in his joy each day. “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” What we can learn from the parable of the talents is that using our gifts to further the Kingdom of God drastically increases our experience of joy. We too can enter into the joy of our Master.
The other major way to live out of this natural state of joy is to simply follow our son’s lead. At the end of the day we can chose to rest our head on our Heavenly Father, sit with him a while and be assured by his comforting arms. Being with God and God alone is a reassurance of joy. It is a reminder that while things may be difficult, walking with God is the greatest joy we can experience. We can consciously choose to cultivate joy in our lives by using our gifts for the Kingdom and by sitting with the one who calls us Beloved. As we do this our lives become more loving, satisfying, peaceful and free.
Lie: True joy is hard to find
Truth: Our natural state is joy
“make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Phil 2:2)