5 Habits of Joyful People
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Last year I set out to learn all I could about trusting Jesus. Trust was my word of the year. This year, the word joy, is what God seemed to place on my heart. Initially, my reaction to the word, joy, was…great; this year is going to be all about fun! And maybe it will be. But that’s not what joy is all about.
I’m learning that joy is a natural extension of the word I studied last year: trust. Trusting Jesus leads to joy. I’m also learning that you can’t think about joy without reflecting on another word: sorrow. They’re two sides to the same coin.
If you follow along and read this blog over the next year, I plan to go on sharing more about trusting Jesus, as I always have- but I’m excited to take the focus towards a place where trusting Jesus leads. It leads to joy!
“Joy is the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it- not despite what’s happening in my life, but because of it.” Sara Frankl, Choose Joy
5 Habits of Joyful People
1. They trust God.
Instead of looking to their circumstances, joyful people look to God, with confidence, knowing that he is in control and knows what he’s doing. (Romans 8:28)
2. They obey God and follow his Word.
Joyful people know that God’s instructions in the Bible may not always be easy to follow- but they trust that they’re there for a reason, that they are divinely inspired and are for our good and God’s glory.
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full.” John 15:11 (ESV)
3. They pray and spend time in God’s presence.
When we pray, we may not always feel God’s presence, but we can trust that God is always with us and that he hears our prayers. If you don’t feel his presence, it doesn’t mean he isn’t there. Keep seeking him.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more.” Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
4. They practice gratitude.
“It’s amazing that when you look at what you have, instead of what you won’t or don’t have, you usually see that in one form or another you’ve gotten what you wished for. “ Sara Frankl, Choose Joy
5. They understand the difference between happiness and joy (and they accept sorrow)
Joy comes from the inside. Happiness is based on external circumstances.
“The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow. Happiness lives where sorrow is not. When sorrow arrives, happiness dies. It can't stand pain. Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief. Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope--and the hope that has become our joy does not (as happiness must for those who depend up on it) disappoint us.” –Walter Wangerin Jr., Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus as Recorded in Mark.
As I set out to study what joy is all about, I know that I still have much to learn. I’m looking forward to it. I realize that I’ve already experienced an incredible amount of joy in my life and I’m grateful for it. I also realize that it’s not only okay, but it’s good to want more joy! Because really, when I’m asking for more joy, what I’m asking for is more of Jesus.
Do you want more joy in your life? It starts with trusting Jesus.