The Vitamin of Joy

Sometimes I get kind of droopy and slow. Actually, sometimes isn’t the right qualifier. It’s more like about half the time I’m awake,  especially the afternoons.

I’ve thought about taking vitamins to fire me up. But the question is should I take vitamin A, B, Q, Z, A2, etc?  Everyone’s got their own idea. I even took a tonic for a while and I imagined that it pepped me up a little. But, in the afternoon my get-up-and-go still got up and went.

There is one energy giver, though, that always works and if I ingest this vitamin I’m good to go. It’s the vitamin of joy.

“Ah,” you say. “A Christian is supposed to be serious. Our face should look as if we’ve been baptized in lemon juice. I’m joyful but it’s an invisible joy.”

Oh, glad you told me.

If my King is anointed with the oil of joy why can’t I be joyous too? Do you think that God is happy? Speaking of Jesus the Bible says, “… God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Ps. 45:7)

People who have no joy live without strength. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh.  ) I think this cuts two ways. First, God gives you joy, and strength flows into your spiritual and even your physical muscles.

Recently, someone gave us a plant and that’s usually bad news for the plant. The little green thing can hear “taps” playing when he enters our house. And sure enough, we went somewhere and forgot to water it. When we got back it looked finished, but when water flowed again through the plant’s system its leaves perked up.

The same thing happens when joy flows through our system.

And we cause joy to pump through the Lord’s system by loving, serving and obeying Him. His gift to us in return is more joy. Talk to someone about the Lord Jesus and see if joy doesn’t flow in you. Give to meet a need and see if joy perks your “leaves” up.

How do you get joy?

It’s done on purpose. Sometimes joy comes simply because of what happens to us. But if you continually live in God’s joy you’ve got to plan to for it.

•    In His presence there’s fullness of joy (Ps. 16: ). Spend time with Him. Stop what you’re doing and think about Him during the day. I try to stop at least three times a day and thank God for something He’s done for me or something He is to me.
•    Take one of His promises and repeat it to yourself during the day. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Remind yourself of that ten times a day. Consciously make joy your aim.

This joy isn’t based on what happens. Our team can lose and we’re still joyous because our joy comes from Him and is based on Him. Your husband can be insensitive but that doesn’t steal joy that comes from Jesus–if you don’t let it.

The most joyous book in the Bible, I suppose, is Phillipians. Did Paul dictate that letter from a five-star hotel where he was eating filet mignon? Not all all! He dictated it from a Roman prison, which was kind of like a minus five star hotel.

Yet he commands us to be joyous! We can be if we work at it with the help that the Holy Spirit gives.

After all, one of the fruits of walking in God’s Spirit is joy! (Gal. 5: )

Are you joyous? Better get at it if you’re not. You’ll find strength you never dreamed possible in your life. It’s better than vitamins.


Hummm …
“But we’re not Puritans anymore. We live in a society oriented around our inner wonderfulness. So when something atrocious happens, people look for some artificial, outside force that must have caused it — like the culture of college football, or some other favorite bogey. People look for laws that can be changed so it never happens again.

“Commentators ruthlessly vilify all involved from the island of their own innocence. Everyone gets to proudly ask: “How could they have let this happen?”

“The proper question is: How can we ourselves overcome our natural tendency to evade and self-deceive. That was the proper question after Abu Ghraib, Madoff, the Wall Street follies and a thousand other scandals. But it’s a question this society has a hard time asking because the most seductive evasion is the one that leads us to deny the underside of our own nature.”
David Brooks in the New York Times, Nov. 15, 2011


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *