JOY — AN INSIDE JOB
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Dr. Victor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, was imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II because he was a Jew. His wife, children, and parents were all killed in the holocaust. The gestapo stripped him of his clothes. He stood totally naked before them, but inside he was filled with God’s joy. As they cut off his wedding band, Viktor said to himself, “You can take away my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me — and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!” Even under the most difficult of circumstances, joy is a choice that transforms our tragedies into triumph.
Let’s face it. Not everything goes our way. Things don’t always work out as we planned. Some days are disasters. Other days are worse than that.
Happiness comes easily when everything goes our way. Joy is different. It’s deeper. Joy is an attitude we select. Happiness is external. Joy is an inside job where we opt to rejoice, regardless of the circumstances.
Don’t confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is a buoyant emotion that results from the momentary plateaus of well-being. Joy is bedrock stuff. Joy is a confidence that operates, irrespective of our moods. Joy is the certainty that all is well, however we feel.
Joy is a divine dimension of living that is not shackled by circumstances simply because we have chosen to respond in a positive manner. Circumstances seldom generate lasting smiles and laughter. Joy comes to those who determine to choose it in spite of their circumstances. ♦
Lord, fill my heart with your joy that I may better serve you when …