Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Steps to Joy

Step One:
"The first step for pursuing joy is simply to begin now... 'This is God's day,' the psalmist says.  It is the day God made, a day that Christ's death has redeemed.  If we are going to know joy, it must be in this day - today...  If we don't rejoice today, we will not rejoice at all.  If we wait until conditions are perfect, we will still be waiting when we die.  If we are going to rejoice, it must be in this day.  This is the day that the Lord has made."

Step Two:
"Each of us knows a few people who are joy-carriers.  When we are around them, they breathe life into us.  Prize them.  Thank them.  Above all, get intentional about being with them...  Perhaps the least surprising statement in Scripture is found in Proverbs: 'Smiling faces make us feel happy.'  We need to identify a few people who play this role in our lives - especially if we tend to be joy-challenged.  Make a joy appointment to spend some time with such a person this week."

Step Three:
"Devote a specific day to acts of celebration so that eventually joy will infuse your entire life.  One day a week eat foods you love to eat, listen to music that moves your soul, play a sport that stretches and challenges you, read books that refresh your spirit, wear clothes that make you happy, surround yourself with beauty - and as you do these things, give thanks to God for his wonderful goodness.  Reflect on what a gracious God he is to have thought of these gifts.  Take the time to experience and savor joy, then direct your heart toward God so that you come to know he is the giver of "every good and perfect gift."  Nothing is too small if it produces true joy in us and causes us to turn toward God in gratitude and delight."

So what is bringing you joy today?
Who is someone in our life that brings joy to a room?
What would you do on your "joy day" to celebrate?

**All quotes in italics are from John Ortberg's book, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

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