I often have conversations with my roommate, and one of the underlying topics of the conversations is where one can find true self-confidence, true satisfaction, or true joy. I would like to present five areas:
A Knowledge of Your Origin As a Son or Daughter of God
The first source of joy is our knowledge, from God, that we are His children. When we know we are children of God, we know a little bit about our potential, the love He has for us, and our relationship with others. These things, understood, can bring us joy.
A Knowledge that Our Life Is in Accordance with True Principles
Whether we find joy in setting and achieving goals, in creating new things, in repairing things that are broken, or in just daily walking the path of righteousness, the common theme is that we are bringing things into alignment with the truth. We cannot look back upon slothfulness, discord, non-functionality, or careless disobedience and honestly think, “Wow—I’m doing rather well, here.” But as we regularly do the things that align our lives with the truth, we CAN look back and rejoice in the substance of our lives and in who we are becoming.
Faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God
When we understand the nature of God and our relationship to Him, in addition to experiencing joy we might also be inclined to feeling despair, particularly when we consider how far our daily walk differs from His eternal reality. However, the promise of Jesus Christ is that regardless of how big the gap, and how long it takes, He will walk with us till we are transformed and become godly, ourselves. He can take our raw material, no matter how broken, incompetent, addicted, or rebellious and turn it into material fit for the kingdom of heaven, if only we will come unto Him. Our faith that He can do this is the first and perpetual step toward becoming the beings we came here to become, and every time we realize He provides not only hope but assurance, we feel joy. Because of Him, there is always a way out and a way up 🙂
Service to Others
Service to others is a somewhat magical source of joy. We lay aside our own desires to further the desires of others. We provide reason for others to have gratitude for us. We provide substance for any future compliments. We, as in the principle above, align our lives with truth by making things better and helping to set things right. And we have a source of confirmation from someone outside ourselves that our contribution was worthwhile.
As we create meaningful connection with others, our joy increases. This is a two-way requirement. If the other person does not wish to do what it takes to make the relationship rich, you can only get so far. Nevertheless, if both parties have the humility and desire to work toward a strong interpersonal relationship, it can grow into a source of lasting joy.