What is the real secret to having Joy? Is there a secret? I believe that there is a real secret to finding Joy and the reason that people do not find it, is because it is hard. We have a tendency to shy away from things that are going to be hard. The secret of Joy is not as much of a secret as it is a tough thing that people do not want to do. What is this thing?
Forgiveness. May people struggle with forgiveness and many times they struggle with Joy. A lack of forgiveness leads to a lack of Joy.
You might wonder what does forgiveness have to do with Joy? The way of feeling true Joy is by giving and getting forgiveness. It comes by asking for forgiveness when you need to and by granting it when someone has harmed you,
Are there people in your life who you hold grudges or anger against? If there are you are called to forgive them and when you do you will find Joy. Look at what the Bible says about forgiveness:
Mark 11:25 "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 ["But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."]
Luke 17: 3 "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, `I repent,’ forgive him."
2 Corinthians 2:7 Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it.
Do you have anger toward yourself because of things you have done? Have you forgiven yourself? If you ask God to forgive you of your sins, He does but the question looms – so then why can’t you forgive yourself? Lack of forgiving yourself is a lack of joy. Forgive yourself. Look again at the Word of God.
Psalm 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD
Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His loving kindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Forgiveness is is one of those things people struggle with in their lives. You may be one of those people who look at others who forgive easily and say how in the world can they forgive like this? You might be like the older brother in story of the prodigal son.
Luke 15:25 "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 "And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 "And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 "But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 "But he answered and said to his father, `Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 "And he said to him, `Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 `But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’ "
We need to be people who are like the father and when people repent and forgiveness comes we should celebrate. Forgiveness is a joyful thing! When we forgiven and when we are forgiven we should be joyful – forgiveness is a joyful thing! You will feel a sense of Joy that will come as a result of forgiveness. You need to be someone who forgives easily and do not hold grudges because it will make you a better person. The more easily you forgive the more joy you will be experiencing in your life.
To wrap up this week on Joy remember these things that are all the secret to living a life of Joy:
- Be a person full of forgiveness.
- Find Joy in your relationships.
- Do all to the glory of God.
- Overcome rather than complain.
- Choose to be joyful.
Let us be joyful in out lives!
What brings you the most Joy in life? Which one of these areas in regard to joy that we looked at do you do the best at?