Have you ever noticed the joy of children? Children seem to be happy over the littlest things.
Jesus was a man of joy. And he tells us that we must become like little children. Unless a child has been abused or seen a lot of trauma they enjoy life. Joshua was only 4 when we took him to McDonald’s to get an ice cream cone. The joy and excitement on his face when he saw that ice cream cone brought joy to me. Everything gave him joy. A little walk in the park, a trip to the store. a big juicy apple, or a glass of juice.
I laugh and smile as I remember a Christmas with Joshua when all the relatives were here. He passed out presents and waited excitedly for each person to open them. He was filled with anticipation and joy. When the present was for him, his joy was overwhelming. I remember how excited he got when he received the train from his cousin Cameron. When I see happy children, particularly my grandchildren, I am filled with joy.
Children Make Everything an Adventure
I remember when one of my other grandsons Nate came to visit at the lake. Everything was an adventure such as cutting wildflowers, painting pictures, feeding the fish and riding in the boat. I can remember when he called our pontoon a ship. It made every little thing here at the lake fun. When Jesus said we must become little children I think he was thinking of the joy Nate had here at the lake.
Children Never Have Trouble Laughing
There was another time when my sister, Susie and niece Lynnette were here with Lynnette’s little girls. I let the girls get in my hot tub, at a lower temperature. Their laughter still rings in my ear as I remember how much fun they had when the jets were on. I have a new sense of joy getting in my hot tub after watching Madison and Caitlyn enjoy it so much.
I looked up the word, love, in the dictionary. It said, “Love is enjoying another person.” If that is what the word love means, we all need to enjoy our mates, friends, sibling, children and grandchildren. I believe if we do what Paul suggested in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
Children Don’t Worry about Tomorrow
Children don’t worry about tomorrow or the past unless they have been abused or traumatized. They enjoy each day, moment by moment. When my youngest daughter was eight I asked her when the last time she felt joy was. She said, “I feel joy every day.”
What is the joy that Jesus had? What is the joy children have? Where does it come from? How do we get it? Can we become like little children and enjoy life? I am hoping as I go on this adventure of life I can find joy in each situation.
“Joy, In Troubled Times” is the joy that comes from God. The joy children have before they become so socialized that they have to watch everything they say and do. Think about some of the things Jesus said. “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Look at the lilies of the field. They don’t toil and spin. Yet God clothes them in such beauty.” He said, “Forgive anyone that hurts you.” In fact, He went a step further and said, “Do good to those who despitefully use you.”
Just those two commandments can free us to have joy. Think about it. If you don’t worry about anything and you forgive those who have hurt you, the joy of freedom is yours. How many times have you laid in bed at night remembering some past hurt? Or worried about something in the future.
Jesus says you don’t have to do that. He has set you free.
Do you want to live a life filled with JOY? Find out what Jesus tells you to do. Think about Him and His truths. I have caught myself thinking about some past hurt. When I realize it I pray, “Lord, you said ‘Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus.’ Fill my mind with your thoughts.”
Some people think Jesus is out to get us. They have so many rules that no one could possibly follow them all. As I read the Bible I see Jesus filled with love, compassion, and healing. He was not critical. He wasn’t out to get anyone. The only people I saw Him judging were those who were judging everyone else. Remember the lady caught in the act of adultery. Did He judge her? NO! He said, “Those of you who have sinned cast the first stone.”
Jesus came to save. Not to condemn. He got mad when he saw people taking advantage of the poor and turning the temple into a den of thieves. But other than that, I never saw him beat or yell at anyone. Yet he was beaten and cursed. This earth is not easy to live in. The world wants to condemn us. But Jesus loves us. The world wants to control us. But Jesus gives us freedom. The world tells us we are fat, old and not perfect. Jesus says we are beautiful to Him. He loves us with an everlasting love. We are beautiful to him.
Think about ways God loves you.
Think about the freedom He has given you.
Think about how beautiful you are to Him.
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Not a member of the Joy in Troubled Times Challenge yet?
Join today it’s free! I look forward to seeing you on the other side. Here’s why I decided to do this challenge. Since joy is a choice, and a choice we make every single day, I want to challenge you to make it a habit. Over the coming days, I want to inspire and encourage you to make a choice each morning to be more joyful.
It takes time and daily conscious decisions to change habits and how we approach life. That’s where the challenge comes into play. The idea is that you have a daily reminder here on the blog and via email each day to help you remember to make that choice. Of course, there will also be plenty of helpful content on the topic of joy in the form of a new daily blog post. At the end of the challenge, I hope you have formed new habits, new ways of thinking, and new ways to look at each situation as it arises. With a little shift in thinking and perception, you can have a more joyful, more fulfilling life. I hope this challenge will help you get there.