Joy has an antecedent. What is its source? Gratitude, or thankfulness, is what underpins joy. It’s the only thing that protects us from a self-serving attitude, which is the parent to complaining behaviour. Nobody who routinely complains can be genuinely happy with their lot in life. Ungrateful behaviour is a blight for us all to deal with – those of us living in our relative First World luxury.
What on Earth is the surest way to joy?
It’s the thing almost everyone ignores,
Gratitude is what we really must employ,
Be grateful and certainly heaven’s joy is yours!
Not everything goes our way in life, so it’s alright to not need to be grateful for the circumstances that conspire against us. How we overcome these horrendous circumstances is the simple consideration of what we have and what we don’t have.
What we have, that we so often take for granted, is so simple and so basic we lose sight of it. We have what God has given us: our bodies, our minds, our souls, our gifts, our capacities, our experiences, and our hopes. The list is unlimited and is limited only to our imaginations. What we have is huge.
What we don’t have is a whole heap of suffering that others do have.
Think about it. This is why getting out into the world, and noticing not just the suffering of the world, but the human cost, is good for us – as we make comparisons.
We most often make comparisons to people we envy. But we would never envy someone who has been dealt a hand from hell (in comparison to our experience).
What we don’t have is a raft of experiences that God has willed that we don’t have. This is not about the things we miss out on. It’s about what we ought to be genuinely grateful for.
If we make it our goal to be ruled by a God-blessed gratitude, the Lord will make it happen that we will be infused with a joy we may never have known.
Joy is worth every sacrifice to attain it.
The most wonderful thing is gratitude is its own reward.
So, to be grateful is to be blessed with joy. It’s to bless others with joy.
And the greatest joy is to be within a community of joy.
The source of joy is gratitude. As there is no limit to gratitude, there’s no limit to joy.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.