10/15/13

Where do I find joy?

Joy can be so elusive. 

Full Definition of JOY

1a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion
2 a state of happiness or felicity
3 a source or cause of delight
beatitude, blessedness, bliss, blissfulness, felicity, gladness, joy, elatedness, delight, cheerfulness, comfort, contentedness
(found here)
 
I find that discontentment, distrust, worry, fear, and just plain sin all seem to steal my joy.  In losing my joy, I lose so much else.  I lose love.  Without joy, love is impossible.  I lose kindness and patience.  Without joy, look out kids!  Without joy in my house, my house is not a home.  A mother whose heart is following God's ways must have joy.  I can cook, clean, and teach - all without joy.  If I do, those things get done - but not done well.  I have been so focused on what steals my joy, that I have missed what brings me joy!
 
What can I do to regain joy?  I know I have lost something because I remember having it.  Not very profound, but true.  I once had joy.  I am tempted to look "back" to circumstances:
without kids.
single.
in college.
in high school.
as a child.
clean house.
nice clothes.
quiet.
 
Although joy was found in each of those places or circumstances, they did not provide for me joy.  So, where is joy found?  I am on a journey to find joy - mainly through the psalms.  After doing a quick search, here are some initial thoughts:
 
Joy is found in:
 
1. Prayer
Psalms 5:11
 
2. The Presence of God
Psalm 16:11, 63:1,5, 65:13, 67:4, 81:1, 89:15, 95:1,2
 
3. Strength and Salvation
Psalm 21:1, 35:9, 51:12
 
4. Forgiveness and Mercy
Psalm 32:1ff, 106:1
 
5. Praising God in Church/Nature
Psalm 32:11, 33:3, 42:4, 43:4, 66:1, 9612, 98:4-8, 122:1, 132:9, 137:6, 149:2-5
 
6. Mount Zion
Psalm 48:2, 126:1
 
7. Broken Bones
Psalm 51:8
 
8. Sacrifices
Psalm 27:6
 
Psalm 113:9 – He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children
 
I am on a journey to regain joy - for the sake of my husband, my kids, my laundry, and especially my relationship with God!