Uncovering Joy: A Christian’s Guide to Rise Above the Noise

As believers, we’ve all wrestled with the concept of joy. Often, we ponder why, despite our faith, joy seems to elude us. A cursory glance at any Christian blog or news article comment section swiftly reveals a grim picture: bitterness, anger, and disdain. Seemingly shielded by the anonymity of the digital world, we sometimes say things that wouldn’t pass our lips in person. Yet, we can’t forget the words of Jesus: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Switch the “mouth” with “keyboard,” and it becomes apparent that many of us carry a shadow within our hearts.

We, as Christians, grapple with the same hardships, the same darkness that envelops our world. We’re imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. Yet, our calling is to be different—to be ‘in the world, but not of the world.’ We’re called to personify love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—the very elements our world yearns for.

Struggling with expressing joy to the world? Here are some considerations:

The Holy Spirit: The Bearer of Joy

Without the Holy Spirit, true joy is unattainable. This joy emanates from a profound connection with God, from recognizing and embracing His truths about us. It’s a lifelong pursuit, with no quick solutions, but the journey begins today. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, joy blossoms naturally. It can’t be feigned or earned. It’s a divine gift—a gift of presence.

Embrace Your Lack of Control

In numerous instances in the Old Testament, God’s people are enjoined to celebrate, laugh, and revel in God’s blessings. It’s a way of acknowledging that God is in control, not us. We aren’t tasked with solving the world’s problems or even our own.

So, when you have ‘that day’—from the dog making a mess to a burnt dinner—instead of succumbing to frustration, what if you just laughed? A hearty laugh not only reduces stress but also boosts endorphins, making you a pleasant presence. Moreover, it might just be the most faith-affirming decision you make.

Nurture Positive Relationships

Toxic relationships are joyous thieves. Those who constantly breed negativity, incite drama, or undermine your self-worth can swiftly drain your joy. If you find yourself entangled in such relationships, consider setting boundaries. Loving others does not entail permitting them to exploit you.

Remember when Jesus was scorned in His hometown? He moved on because He knew He couldn’t fulfill His calling there. He later advised His disciples to “shake the dust off their feet” when they encountered unwelcoming towns. It’s OK to “shake off the dust” from relationships that hamper your joy or hinder your calling. Surround yourself with those who love, value, and support you. You’ll be amazed at the joy that emerges.

Seek Solitude

In today’s noisy world, solitude is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. The constant clamor demands our attention and drains our energy. Solitude offers an escape, allowing our minds to reset and our souls to find tranquility. Jesus Himself sought solitude to reconnect with the Father.

Just as it was for Jesus, solitude is essential for us. Disconnect from the world’s false narratives about self-worth and reconnect with the Holy Spirit, the source of truth. It’s a key step in fostering a joyful spirit.

The book of Acts tells us that we, thanks to the Gospel, should be the ones with glad hearts, joyful words, and lives filled with hope. It won’t always be easy, but it’s necessary to cultivate true joy.