By Joan Clayton
I have never found a person who never had a problem. However, I have found many people who kept their joy even in the midst of adversity. I call them “heroes.”
They are upbeat, optimistic, fun to be around and their attitude is contagious.
When I think of “joy” an exceptional friend comes to mind. He is 91 and likes to write poetry. He finds joy in sending special poems to friends. He sent this one to us and gave permission to share it here:
“What a wonderful place, a happy place to live
If everybody had much joy and happiness to give.
If everybody just took time to spread more love and cheer,
Taking time to be considerate, thoughtful and sincere.
We’d thank you for the joy and thanks for being you.
Friends like you are far between and few!”
I call joyful people “joy givers.” They persevere no matter what. Self-pity is not in their vocabulary. They are too busy helping others to think of themselves.
Blessings return to those who give themselves away and their joy makes happy hearts. Hearts are strengthened in life because, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV). My grandmother’s joyful singing gave her strength and she knew every hymn word for word.
Have you ever awakened in the morning with a song in your heart? I have and I believe the Lord has been singing over me. Zephaniah 3:17 tells me that: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV)
One of my former students gave me a copy of the following article. I keep it in my files and it has lifted my spirits many times:
“Be at peace. Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather look to them with full hope as they arise. God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them. He has kept you hitherto, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in His arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow, the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and everyday. He will either shield you from suffering, or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.” (This wonderful piece was written by St. Francis de Sales.)
Where does this joy come from? His name is Jesus. He is peace for the fearful, refuge for the lonely, triumph for the trials, conqueror for the lowly, strength for the weak, restoration for the addicted, encouragement for the downtrodden, mercy for the sufferer, grace for the sinner, forgiveness for the offender, comfort for the sorrowful, life for the lifeless, delight for the desperate, hope for the hopeless, love for the unloved, wholeness for the broken and victory for the defeated.
I’ve noticed many characteristics in joyful people. One thing is above all other, “They let go and let God.” They “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 KJV).
Joyful people are excited about life and that makes life delicious.
Be excited today!
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales. E-mail her at: