Psalm 34:5 “Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.”
This verse captures the heart of why joy was chosen as the theme for this school year. In a world that is looking in all the wrong places for fulfillment and satisfaction, what if Christians truly lived lives so full of joy that people were captivated by why we are different from them? We have access to the one Being that is the only source of true joy. Therefore, it is time that our kids – well, actually all of us – remind ourselves that our joy can be complete in Him. If we can live in such a manner that stands out in a society that has lost its way, those who are called by Jesus will be attracted to a saving faith
Have you ever been around someone who has “The Eeyore Syndrome”? These are Christians who walk around acting like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. They choose to look at the gloomy side of life. Their eyes are cast down, their countenance is cheerless, and they have no enthusiasm or anticipation for life. Joyful people cannot have The Eeyore Syndrome. The Eeyore Syndrome is not a Fruit of the Spirit. The Eeyore Syndrome is not a realistic view of life nor faith-filled. William Ward writes words about discouragement that can apply to the Eeyore Syndrome. He says, “Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. No one wants to around people like that, so can we be the joyful Christians that God has asked us to be?
So as we start this year and look for ways that we can live a joyful life, let’s be clear what joy is and is not.
Joy is not:
- Giddiness – a temporary feeling of elation because something good happened to us or around us. For example, the Royals won in the 9th inning last night provided a giddy moment.
- Happiness – a feeling driven by circumstances. To continue with the Royals…the fact that they are 29 games above .500 makes me happy. When they lose 3 games in a row, my happiness is reduced.
- Foolishness – an ignorance of the dangers and difficulties of life. To go through life blissfully unaffected by the trials and tribulations around you and the moral decay of society does not equal joy.
In my next post, I will share what I see as joy as described in the Bible.