Hey all! I’ve been super bad at blogging every week in the past month, so I figured, here I am in class, why not blog? (solid logic right there). Also I finally have something solid that I felt compelled to write about. So here it goes…
This past week, I’ve been working on a paper for my Biblical Revelations class. (ironically, the class that I am currently blogging in…). the paper was supposed to be on a passage in the Bible and we would find commentaries and encyclopedia entries and journal articles to discuss the article. After a sermon that really spoke to me two weeks ago at church, I decided to write on the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). I could go on a six page explanation of it and nerd out with Greek words etc. but I’ll spare you all of that. This week, I want to talk about Joy.
Last weekend, the weather was perfect and the living was easy. I didn’t have much work to do for this week and I was at a wedding in the most beautiful part of Virginia I’ve ever seen with a ton of my friends. I got to spend time outside, dance, eat, and be with my friends. Who could ask for a better weekend right? 80 degrees and gorgeous. When I got back from my trip, all I could think was DANG. Life is good. I’m so blessed. Etc. Yesterday, all day, it snowed and was below 30 degrees. Everyone was complaining about the weather, myself included. Yesterday, half the day I felt like life sort of sucked. What’s the big change?
Other than seasonal depression (which I’m convinced is a real medical problem in Grove City, PA…) I think that we are forgetting what being joyful means. I would contend that being joyful doesn’t necessarily mean being happy. So you’re all probably wondering why the heck you would want to be joyful if you aren’t happy. Don’t you worry, that part is coming.
Being joyful, in the Biblical sense, is rejoicing in the presence of the Lord in our lives. It is being thrilled because He not only gave His only son to die so that we could live BUT He wants to love and know us. God’s love for us doesn’t change depending on the weather. God doesn’t love us less when it’s 20 degrees and snowing. We have just as much reason to be joyful when it’s miserable out as when it’s nice out. The same goes for life. When you get into a fender-bender, spill coffee on your shirt, are late to class AND you flunk a test, God still loves you. And He is still worthy of your praise. How can you praise him? Be joyful in all that you do.
In my experience, it seems that people complain merely because everyone else is doing it. I specifically remember a situation in which I complained for literally no reason. One day in MAP cafe (cafe on campus), there was realllly good lunch (way above normal MAP standards). There were at least three different things I could’ve gotten and it was all tasting good. I saw one of my friends and she came over to say hi. She came up and said “ugh lunch sucks!” and I was like “yeah I know right??” My friend walked away and all I could think was… what. why the heck did I just say that? I really like cheese quesadillas and personal pizzas…
It’s a classic example of mob think. I honestly think that there would be a whole lot less complaining if half the time we have nothing else to say to the person we’re talking to. My challenge to you (and myself) this week is this: try and be the joyful person in your friend group, or your work place, or your church. God loves us despite all our flaws, and He made this Earth for us to enjoy and discover. Instead of complaining with everyone else, try and think of a couple good things that happen throughout the day. Actively seeking the good things that happen in your life will make you more thankful for them. Trust me, I know it’s hard. But see how much more happy you are in everyday life when you aren’t constantly dwelling on the negative things that happen.
Here’s a cool verse to memorize and put to the test this week:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
(shout out to the Bible for coming in clutch once again).
I hope you all have a joyful Easter! Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!