These days, with the busyness of life, rapid changes in society and a world of news that constantly reaches us on our phones, it can be hard to find some joy. Due to that, we need to be intentional about joy or else our time, schedule, and all our good intentions may well be filled by things far from joyful.
Other times, we’ll naturally have those “wins” at home when joy occurs. Maybe it’s when someone in the family shares how, “Something great happened today Mom and Dad!” and they spread some gladness. Then you (in your joy for their joy) heap even more Joy on theirs and soon enough you find yourself at Dairy Queen, celebrating and rejoicing together over some ice cream. Who doesn’t en-JOY that?
In Luke 15, when the shepherd that lost one sheep out of 100 had found it again, he rejoiced with his friends and neighbours. And again: when the woman that lost one of ten coins had found the missing one, she also rejoiced with her friends and neighbours.
When both found what was lost, they had joy that it was contagious – they couldn’t keep it to themselves! They had to share it, so they chose to rejoice and multiply that joy with friends and neighbours. They gathered them together in community and were joyful. It sounds like they had the best kind of party: one rooted in thankfulness and gladness.
In 2 John 1:12, he writes to the church that he has much to share and doesn’t want to use parchment and ink to communicate. He would rather talk face to face, so that their joy may be complete. Like these two people from the parables who rejoiced in sharing their joy, so too John knew the value of sharing that in-person with people.
We can find joy in finding, returning, loving, forgiving, sharing, and so many more actions just like these. All we have to do is be intentional about it. James pushes this idea to the limit when he says to consider it not just regular joy but PURE JOY when you face trials of many kinds.
Whatever you’re up to this summer, make sure you’re intentional: stop and smell the flowers, spend some time at the lake, or do whatever faithfully necessary to find the joy in everything you do. Yes, even the hardships. And when you do share that joy with someone, spread it around. It’s an awesome feeling! Whether you’re on the giving end or receiving.
Joy is worth finding, then sharing.