Trying to find joy in the mundane of everyday life can be….well, mundane. Nobody likes to wash dishes, pick up after their children, or drive the commute to work (whether its 2 hours or just 5 minutes). Making dinner night after night, or packing lunches each morning, can seem monotonous and tiresome.
No matter your situation, the goings on of everyday living contain routine. And that routine can become dull and boring after a while. The insanity of it will drive anybody on the quest to finding happiness in everyday life. But joy is so much more than happiness. It is incredibly deeper and is grounded in a stability that can only be found in one place.
The bad news
Let’s get this over first. True joy cannot be found in everyday life. This is not what you were hoping to read when you clicked on this post, I know. But it’s the truth. There is no thing on this earth, there is no task that you can accomplish, no pill that you can take that will bring true joy into your life. You might have happy moments, or you might have a cheery disposition, but you can not begin to understand what true joy is if you are looking for it in the everyday.
So then, what things bring joy?
I guess the question shouldn’t be “what things bring joy”, but instead, “WHO brings joy”. Joy is found in Christ alone. When you have invited the Holy Spirit into your life to dwell within you, He brings with Him the hope of your salvation and of better things to come. It is because of this hope that we can experience true joy.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
Once we come to an understanding of who Christ is in our lives, and we begin to know Him more, we can begin to understand how amazing true joy in Christ really is.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Why is Christ the only source of true joy?
You might be asking why that is. Why is finding joy in everyday life an unattainable endeavor? Well, the Bible tells us that Jesus was there at the beginning of it all. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One with God (for more on this, see Why is Jesus Important), and so He was there for it all and He created it all.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. John 1:1-3
So, we might find a way to find joy in the dishes (although for the life of me, I can’t see how), but the dishes themselves physically can’t be the source of the joy. God created the materials used to make those dishes, and the sink, and the soap…not to mention the water itself. The dishes were dirty to begin with because you ate a meal off of them, made from ingredients that God grew and nurtured Himself. Until we begin to find joy in the Creator, we cannot find joy in the created.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36
Why is it important to find joy in your life?
Without joy, you can have no hope. If our joy is hinged on our hope in Christ, then if you don’t have joy that can only mean that you do not have hope. And if you don’t have hope, you must not have come yet to a full understanding of who Christ is in your life. That is where the danger lies.
You see, joy is one of the fruits of the spirit. Meaning, that if the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you and living through you, the evidence of who He is will be seen in your life. These are not things that you can fabricate, you must allow Him to call the shots.
Joy is a byproduct of your relationship with the Lord. It is not a fleeting feeling or emotion. It cannot be conjured up by any creative tips or tricks found on the internet. True joy is a constant in your everyday life. No matter the difficulty, or the level of tragedy, joy can be found because Christ can be found.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
Joy brings worship in everyday life
Joy is important because joy keeps us looking to the source. When we are joyful, we begin to feel grateful as well. And when we are grateful, we begin to desire to show appreciation. And that is where worship begins. When we can see clearly the rightful Object of our thanksgiving and praise, we begin a healthy practice of worshipping Him who is worthy. Worshiping our Creator keeps our priorities in check.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
How do I restore joy in my life?
There are so many ways to integrate joy into the everyday, but before you can begin to think about any of them, you need to begin with prayer. Get on your knees and ask for help in this area. Express your desire to experience His joy. He will be more than happy to oblige.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
1. Look for God in everything
And I mean EVERYTHING!! He is there, I promise. Once you begin a habit of looking, you will see Him everywhere. When you become aware of His presence, you can’t help but feel appreciative of who He is in your life. And joy flows from that.
2. Journal your prayers
This is something I have done off and on in my walk with the Lord. Sometimes I have the time for it, and sometimes I don’t. But I can tell you, that when I do, I am so blessed. I have gone back and read my prayers from years before and have been able to see how God has answered them verbatim to how I asked. He is in those details. He cares about them. There is no greater joy than to be reminded that your God is real, and that He listens and cares.
3. Remember His promises
God will never break a promise. While it is important to recognize which promises in the Bible were made to all of God’s children, and which were made to a specific people group in a specific circumstance, we can rest in His word and in His character. He will not fail you. A few examples of His promises are:
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
4. Humble yourself before Him
Arrogance is an ugly thing. I should know, I have struggled with it my whole life. Sin of any kind is ugly to be honest. Whatever it is, acknowledge it and lay it at His feet. Get down on your knees and surrender before Him.
Arrogance specifically can make you hard-hearted and bitter toward others, believing that you are better than them, smarter than them, stronger than them. It can keep you from rejoicing in their wins, or praying for their success. Anger and resentment can creep in and steel any joy in the Lord you might have. Pray against this, and turn it all over to Him.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Romans 12:16
5. Worship with adoration and thanksgiving
Praise Him. Daily. Recognize what He has done for you, and thank Him for it. This isn’t something that needs to be saved for church, or for when KLove is playing in your car. It doesn’t need to be done in song, or with hands raised. Whisper a word of thanksgiving in your heart. When you see a beautiful sunset, or when your child’s smile lights up the room, tell Him how beautiful He is. Worship Him. Set your heart on the right priority.
Find joy in the CREATOR of everyday life.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26