Tap Into the True Source of Joy

Embracing a Life of Abundant Happiness Beyond Circumstances

Joyce Meyer

Studying God’s Word has radically changed my life, and it has opened my eyes to the way God wants me to live. I spent many years of my life without having any real peace and joy. I was emotionally unstable and couldn't be happy unless I got my way most of the time. But once I started seriously studying the Word of God, I came to realize that He didn't want me to live that way, and I could learn how to really enjoy my daily life.

One of my favorite scriptures is John 10:10: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows” (AMP). This is an absolutely amazing scripture because it clearly tells us that God doesn’t just want us to be alive, but He wants us to live with joy—abundant, overflowing joy! You may be wondering how you can have that kind of joy in your own life.

The apostle Paul talks a great deal about joy in the book of Philippians. In fact, it’s often referred to as “the epistle of joy” because the word joy or rejoicing is mentioned a total of 19 times in four chapters. Now, this joy Paul talks about is not just a “happy feeling” based on our circumstances. He’s talking about the joy God gives that brings peace and contentment to our soul even when our circumstances are difficult and don’t seem to make any sense. It’s a joy that’s found in knowing Christ and the hope that He offers us.

Choosing Joy

Experiencing the joy-filled life that Jesus died to give us is based on a decision to choose joy over our circumstances. Every single day is filled with situations that try to steal our joy, and the enemy knows that if he can upset us through our circumstances, then he can affect our entire day.

For years, I thought I could be joyful if all of my circumstances were just perfect, but that’s not real life. I wasted a lot of years believing that if things went my way or the people in my life behaved a certain way, then I would be happy and satisfied. But I discovered that I was the one who needed to change—my joy was being determined by the wrong things. If we wait for life to be perfect, or if we place our joy in the wrong place, then we will never have the life Jesus died to give us.

One key to choosing joy is getting our mind off of ourselves. Paul encourages us in Philippians 2:3-4 to Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. The world is full of lonely, hurting people who are hungry for the love of God and the hope that is only found in Jesus. And when we focus our attention on helping others and improving someone else’s life, we ourselves experience tremendous joy.

Imagine how different the world would be if everyone would just do one nice thing to help someone else every day. It can be so simple to put a smile on someone’s face! Give a compliment, give something away, take the time to listen, open a door for someone, let a person go before you in line at the store…the list could go on and on. Begin taking even just a few minutes every day to think about what you can do to help someone else. It’s the quickest way to add joy to your life!

Rejoice in the Lord

In Philippians 4:4, Paul encourages us to “rejoice in the Lord.” These words are especially meaningful since Paul lived in prison while writing them! What does it mean to “rejoice in the Lord”? It means that when we’re having a bad day, when everything seems to be going wrong and we feel like giving up, we can choose to remind ourselves of how wonderful God is and how He takes care of us as His children.

It also means our joy comes from God, and He doesn’t want us to rely on anything but Him. When we choose to fix our attention on God and rejoice in the good things He has done, we make Him bigger than our problems. We can look to God to provide what we need and what we want. This means we trust Him, no matter what other people do or what our circumstances look like. He wants us to have joy in Him, even when life isn’t perfect.

As you go about each day, make this your goal: Rejoice in the Lord! As the joy of the Lord gives you strength, you’ll be able to face any problems you have to deal with, and you’ll enjoy your life while you’re doing it! With God’s help and your determination, you can learn to truly enjoy every single day of your life.