Where does joy come from?
From good circumstance, an abundance of gifts, or feasts and festivities, is this where our gladness comes from? We certainly enjoy these things, so much so that we mistakenly think experiencing something is the joy itself.
Do the things we own and good times we experience give us joy? Or is it from somewhere else, and these are just the celebrations we create to mark the presence of joy itself?
That might be a hard question to answer. But there is plenty of evidence that the parties, gifts, luxuries and indulgent foods are not the source of gladness. You can have plenty of all of the trappings of celebration and still find an emotional void where joy was expected.
In fact, it creates something of an inner jolt when that happens; and more than a little emotional pain.
Not all joy is the same experience or perception. It can be what is felt when one marries or gives birth to a baby. It can be when your team wins, or when experiencing victory in endeavors.
Just as happiness or love might be of different sorts. That makes the source difficult to pin down.
The spiritual joy, the “grace recognized”, …where does that come from?
While it is a gift, there seem to be certain circumstances that tend to produce it. Ironically, sacrifice will tend to produce joy.
Many of us have experienced this.
Have you ever treasured something, only to find how it would be a blessing, an answer to prayer for someone else and then parted with it? For the sake of filling another’s need, parting with something we also had need of, or love for, created a great sense of happiness for us.
It has no real logic to it, but it is often true that it is more blessed to give than to receive. There are times you will experience real happiness from your act of giving to others. It will give you joy.
I’m not going to ask you to practice this. The best kind of giving is to feel an openness of spirit, a generosity of mind, and then find the opportunities on your own. I do believe an awareness of the great favor we have received creates that kind of openness of spirit.
Some Scriptures For Inspiration
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
Carol For Today
“We Three Kings”
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”