When we think about what the word joy means we must also immediately consider the word peace. Joy is the state of being content with things whether they are going according to plan or not. Happiness fluctuates, even though it seems to be all that people are striving for. Happiness is just an emotion; if the situation changes, so will the emotion. We need to be looking to cultivate joy and peace in our hearts and not just jump onto things that give us happiness for a while.
In our current state it is so easy for fear of the future to kick in. We do not know what is coming next and we are trying our best to stay positive. The thing is, when we make joy part of how we view things, it is much easier for us to be positive because we have now shifted our focus of us being happy all the time to finding joy in everything and having peace about how it will work out. In Psalm 94:19 the Psalmist writes:
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy”.
Which basically means that we can have hope that God has got all things under control, so we can have peace that we don’t have to be in control.
Yesterday we spoke about integrating new intentional loving behaviours. We are all so consumed with Covid-19. It’s all we see and all we hear about. We do however have the power to change the experience and narrative our family will have about this when it is all over. So today let’s ask ourselves how to cultivate God’s joy and peace in our homes. 1 Thess 5:12-13 encourages us to live in peace and acknowledge those who care for us in The Lord. That we must hold them in the highest regard in love. This is what God asks us to do, not just during this stressful time, but always. Later in verses 16-18 we are told to “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
We know and acknowledge our God to be the God of and over relationships and time, so it is just like Him to have put time aside (21 days in our regard) to work on and restore family and relationships. See this time with your family as time from the Lord. Time that we have never had before and time we ourselves could never put aside to be together, to love each other and to work on loving the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and loving others as ourselves.
Like all things though, having joy and peace are not easy things to have. Sometimes there really is no motivation to share these characteristics with people who in our opinion do not deserve it, but it is in these times that we need to remember to do all thing as if we are doing it to and for God. Proverbs 12:20 reminds us to be promoters of peace so that we may have joy. The Hebrew concept of peace (shalom) is for everything to be whole and complete. Only when you find your peace and satisfaction in God, when you are at peace, can you bring wholeness and peace to your situations.
Ways that we can consider spreading joy in our homes is having worship music playing somewhere in your house. Music is an incredibly powerful thing and it is amazing how music influences a mood. In Luke 24 when Jesus left His disciples, they worshiped him and returned home with joy. There is something about blessing the Lord with our hearts and mouths that moves us into joy. The Psalmist says in Psalms 30:11-12, “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.”
I leave you with Romans 12:12-13:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
- Identify 3 things right now that you can be thankful for that brings you peace. Make note of them.
- Think of 3 things right now that brings you joy. Make note of them.
- Think about 3 things that God promised you and was faithful with. Note it.
- Identify 2 ways that you can promote peace in your home
- Right now don’t be afraid. Be honest with God. Take some time to talk to God and ask Him about the things that will make your joy complete in Him.
- This week commit to being intentional about spreading peace and joy in your heart and to those around you.