Spread the Joy – Day 33

The spread of happiness is absolutely contagious, with spreading patterns very similar to communicable diseases like the flu. This year, we have seen a lot of contagious diseases. I believe that all things that are contagious are not negative and painful! There is a tiny word (joy) that is misunderstood in a big way. It is easy to confuse “joy” with “happiness,” as they do have similarities. Where you find one, you often find the other. Ecclesiastes 3: 12 says, “Nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and do good in their lives.” True joy, I think, is much deeper into the soul than any amount of happiness. Happiness, after all, is fleeting. We can be happy one minute and unhappy the next minute. But that tiny word, joy, comes from the Lord; it lasts forever and is consistent regardless of the situation or circumstance.

I feel better when I am exposed to joy, even in small doses. Nehemiah 8: 10 says, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” To be honest, I think that all of us have plenty of room in our lives for more joy! We can experience more joy as we spend more time in God’s presence and let the Holy Spirit steer us to pure joy.

Some people have had the privilege of being around others who share the joy of Christ. They are optimistic and positive, kind and full of peace. Just being around these people make you feel more helpful and encouraged in your own faith. It’s easy to get caught up in things that will pull you down. Trust God and He will keep you lifted up.

Joy is contagious! Purposely look for people who have “the joy of the Lord” flowing from them. The joy doesn’t always have to be shared verbally. The smile on your face, a pat on the back or even the tears you may share with others will rub off if you keep surrounding yourself with these joyous people. The amazing thing about joy is that it does not depend on circumstances or other people. It finds its roots in the Lord, who is never changing. Galatians 5: 22-23 tells us that “joy” is a fruit of the Spirit working in every Christian’s life. 1 Chronicles 16: 27 says that “joy” is in the Lord’s dwelling place. Psalms 16: 11 reminds us that the Lord’s presence can fill us with joy.

What part does the joy of the Lord play in your own life? If your attitude is contagious, the people who are around you will “catch” it! No doctors needed. Since joy is contagious, take some time this week to purposefully spread joy to others. You can encourage someone, speak positively to a person, write a note or send a card to a friend, or smile at a stranger. In other words, spread your joy that you have received from the Lord. Contagious joy will build you up and not tear you down. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to accept the joy that you so freely offer. Help us to learn to share this gift with others. Pray that God will surround each of us with people who are searching for the “joy of the Lord.” It is in His name I pray. Amen
– Jean Abbey