Find Joy in Living!
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
The French expression for it - that keen or buoyant enjoyment of life - is joie de vivre. Is it really possible to have this kind of joy in your life every day?
It's not only possible, but it is God's command for us and demand on us.
No matter what the circumstances of your day, joy can be at the center and foundation of your being. It is an underlying fact about you, which can never be torn away. God is Life, and always rejoices in infinite goodness. You are God's expression of Himself. Mundane thoughts, frustrating circumstances, or discouragement cannot crowd out your God-derived joy. Your privilege is to be God's expression; to feel peace and a spiritual joy that is unshakable.
All the genuine good you'll ever experience flows from your relationship with God. People everywhere are finding this out and enjoying the happier living that comes through the search to understand God better. This search uncovers a deeper meaning to life. We find new and larger views of goodness as our devotion to understanding God increases.
This is all because God Himself is the source of happiness and life-joy. Understanding Him more helps us recognize these very qualities of His every day. Human experiences are not the cause of joy. True joy of living is ours because we are expressions of God.
One Bible writer knew this. He wrote a psalm, or hymn, about it. In this song of praise, he said: "I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices .... You [God] show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy" (Ps. 16:8, 9, 11, New Revised Standard Version).
A friend of mine, who felt her life was empty of goodness, had been considering suicide. She happened to listen to a radio lecture that talked about the healing power of God, which comes to everyone through understanding His love for each one of us. She decided to call about the book the lecture spoke of, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. (This is the Christian Science textbook.)
Some time after this, she and I talked about how the healing power of God is given to everyone, and brings a joy in living. She wrote to me, "I'm beginning to get glimpses ... that there may be something worth living for - to see if I can meet the challenge of really forming a better relationship with God. All else would flow from that."
And it does! The healing Christ - the truth of our spiritual, perfect identity - reveals a precious relationship with God. You can find it, too. It impels the joy of living in Him. In one place Science and Health explains some practical steps to finding more joy in life: "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts" (Pg. 261).
It also declares, "This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death" (Pg. 304). The term divine Love used here is a direct reference to God.
Well, through her study my friend has indeed been finding the joy of living. She recently wrote to me about how she is praying now. She said that she prays, "Thank you, God, for purifying me and showing me what needs to be healed on a deeper level, in order for me to take a step forward into a more fulfilling life."
These same healing Christ-thoughts, and the joy of living that they bring, are yours from God today.
Blessed is the people that
know the joyful sound:
they shall walk, O Lord, in
the light of thy countenance.
In thy name shall they
rejoice all the day: and
in thy righteousness
shall they be exalted.
Psalms 89:15, 16