Fertilizing Joy

[Notice – Since I’m away for vacation in August (yahoo!) the devotionals you’ll receive for these four weeks are some favourites from the past few years. Consider them previews from my upcoming book: “Up! – 313 Devotionals To Help You Start Your Day In A Biblical, Relevant Way.”]

Joy.

It’s listed as one of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23. That means it’s something God grows in you when you become a Christian: love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

For some, joy grows quickly. For others, not so much. But is there anything you can do to fertilize the upward expansion of joy in your attitude and outlook?

Yes there is.

You can intentionally spend time with people who consistently see the goodness of God at work, even through the various ups and downs of life. These people have hope—consistently.

Now let me be clear. I’m not one of those people who thinks you should “only spend time with people who make you happy.” That stuff drives me crazy. It feeds into a theory of relationships that is wildly shallow.

What I’m talking about here is intentionally spending time with people who consistently see the goodness of God at work, even through the various ups and downs of life. These are people who focus on and trust that God is a steadfast provider, Saviour, healer and teacher… even when they can’t see all the pieces to life’s puzzle.

But why should you spend time with these people?

Because they remind you that God is good, even when you can’t see it. Because they teach you how to scan the horizon for hope, even when it doesn’t come naturally to you. Because they show you that difficulties are temporary and don’t have to define who you are.

So if you want to fertilize the upward expansion of joy in your attitude and outlook, intentionally spend time with people who consistently see the goodness of God at work, even through the various ups and downs of life.

When you do, not only will you experience more joy, but you just might start to be that joy-filled inspiration to somebody else.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Starting on August 6, instead of being published Tuesday to Saturday, “Up!” will be published Monday to Friday to coordinate with the work week. Enjoy!
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