How do you cultivate JOY?

grumpy-15057374_1847734315513758_1077785814882058240_nJoy to the world, the Lord is come! Being a joyless Christian is a contradiction in terms! Yet we all go through drought or letting people and things “rob” our joy.  My short definition of joy is Gladness in God!  Jesus offers a joy that no one can take from us! (John 15:7-11) For the third Sunday in Advent, I preached on how God With Us brings JOY.  You can listen to the sermon here. I explain 5 ways we can cultivate joy – listed below.

Cultivate Joy!

1.  Repent and believe the Good News
Repentance (turning back toward God and putting all trust in Christ) is the starting point for real Joy and Hope.) Luke 15; Psalm 51 (especially vv. 8-12)

2.  “See Christ everywhere;” “Find God in all things”
Kalistos Ware summarized a life of prayer and experiencing God with the first phrase. “Find God in everything” is a central teaching of Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuit tradition. These both remind us that God is constantly speaking and using every experience to transform us and use us to embody the faith in every arena of our lives. There is joy in experiencing God!

3.  Stretch yourself to serve.
“The way out of the dungeon of self, is in service to others.”  Luke 10:17-21

4. Contemplate Beauty and the Life of the World to Come
Hebrews 12:1-3 – Jesus endured suffering because of the joy set before Him.
Psalm 16 – “In Your presence there is fullness of joy!”

5. Fight being “too easily pleased.”
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”  (C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory)


Let’s ask the Holy Spirit who produces Love, Joy, Peace… to make us people of JOY!



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