Joy makes it great to be alive

Joan Clayton

Today is the day to be happy, and it can be a lifestyle. Life is glorious. Taste it. Smell it. It is delicious.

Go barefooted. Sing. Laugh. Smile. Give yourself away. Win the prize. It’s called joy. “…the joy of the Lord will make you strong” (Nehemiah 8:10 NCV). You can do anything through Jesus, because he gives you strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Today is all we have. Let’s make the most of it. Today is now. The past is past. Enjoy those loved ones while living your life. Time is fleeting. Opportunities may be gone tomorrow. If we cannot be happy now … this breathing, heart-beating moment … then we are never going to be happy.

Yes, we have setbacks, problems, misunderstandings and losses. Life is not always the way we would have it, but we still have the choice of our attitude. We can waste time living in self-pity, reviewing the unfairness and injustices of life, or we can rise up with faith and determination to be happy anyway. Joy doesn’t come from worrying, fretting and stewing. The enemy of our souls would have us walk in defeat, depression and discouragement, and who could have joy in the midst of that?

This beautiful planet was made for our enjoyment. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

Delight in the Lord. We are his delight, too. He even sings over us. (Zephaniah 3:17) Did you know he is married to us? “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you …” (Jeremiah 3:14 KJV). If that doesn’t excite you, check your marriage license with Jesus.

God is a “joy giver,” and it is a fruit of the Spirit. Think of the happiest time you have ever experienced on Planet Earth. Heaven will be indescribably better.

I think “Wake up! You’re alive!” would make a good bumper sticker.

Psychiatrists agree the happiest people are those who give themselves away. Simple joy brings pleasure. Showing kindness never brings regrets. Being the first to apologize displays humility. Saying encouraging words gives comfort. Give those you love words of love. Say, “You are important to me. I care about you. I have faith in you. I love you.”

Being joyful lowers blood pressure and family friction. Joy reduces stress and anticipates hope and health. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV).

My greatest heroes are those who help others when they are hurting themselves. They have learned that even in pain, they don’t have to be a pain.

The words joy, joys, joyful, rejoice, rejoices, rejoiced and rejoicing appear many times in the Bible. It’s because the gospel is indeed “Good News.” I believe the greatest gift to mankind is truly “Joy to the World.”

Make a list of all your blessings. You will find a lot about your spiritual joy level. Joy comes from gratitude. Joy comes from unselfishness. Joy adds life to your years. Joy comes from knowing God will never abandon his child.

Joy comes from Jesus.

J … Jesus

O … Others

Y … Yourself

That spells “Joy!”

Each day is a gift wrapped with wondrous beauty and tied with ribbons of joy.

Open your beautiful gift of joy early in the morning and make it last all day.

It’s great to be alive.