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Fighting for and Finding Joy

Joy is one of those things we’re all searching for. No matter where we’re at in life, we all seem to want the same thing: to be happy.

As Americans, it’s even one of our founding rights—the pursuit of happiness. And we look for it everywhere.

We’ll look to a person to find joy. Often thinking, if I could just find the perfect spouse. If I could have a family. If I could find an awesome group of friends…then I would have joy.

Or we’ll run to our job or a status in the hopes of finding joy. And if I could just get this promotion, a certain position, a specific amount of followers…then I would have joy.

We run after money and stuff. If I had this thing, a bigger house, a nicer car, a better that, if I just had more of…then I would have joy.

Or we’re waiting for a certain day to come. It’s like, I just can’t wait until the day that I graduate, get married, have a baby, retire, win the lottery. (It doesn’t hurt to dream, right?) When that day comes I’ll be so happy. Then I’ll have joy.

But here’s the truth: We might find joy for a moment, especially in the wonderful blessings that come from God himself, but yet even with the best of things, the joy never seems to last. I’ve found that once I get exactly what I want, I often feel like I did opening presents on Christmas Eve as a kid—like, now what?

Have you been there?

Maybe you’ve tried looking for joy everywhere, including some places you now regret. Decisions and things you’ve done that you only wish you could take back. You tried to look for joy and all you found was brokenness.

You chased after the American dream—white picket fence, kids, spouse, a good job—and it’s left you feeling empty inside. Is this really all there is?

Joy is one of those things that everyone is searching for, but few people find.

So, if this is true, where can we find true joy? Is it even possible?

Yes, true joy, great joy, is only found in one place: Jesus.

Instead of running after all kinds of different things looking for joy and never finding it.
Instead of being miserable.
Instead of piling up regrets.

Great joy, an abundance of joy, is found in Jesus.

And get this: Jesus doesn’t just offer us joy, He is joy.
He doesn’t just give us joy, He’s the source.

Do we want joy? Jesus.
Do we have no joy? Look to Jesus.
Do we want more joy? Jesus.

Basically, the closer and closer we get to God, the more we fall in love with Him, the more joy will begin to fill our lives.

But here’s the truth when it comes to joy—sometimes we have to fight for joy.

Because each day there are countless things that will try and steal our joy.

A bad email.
A screaming kid that’s covered in some kind of body fluid.
Crazy drivers.
Crazy co-workers.
Crazy people in general.

Sometimes it’s almost like it’s people’s jobs to be joy stealers.

And sadly I’ve found that the more life I live, the less natural joy has become. It’s almost like life has a way of beating the joy right out of you.

And I haven’t even mentioned the big things like cancer.
Marriage problems.
Struggling to get pregnant.
Sometimes it just feels like it’s one thing after the next.

But that’s why we need to fight for joy, isn’t it?

It’s deciding that regardless of what I’m going through, Jesus, I choose you.
And regardless of what today might bring, I’m keeping my eyes on you.
And regardless of what I’m walking through, even through this, Jesus I choose joy.

Joy isn’t about putting on a happy face. Having joy doesn’t mean being fake and wearing a mask. Instead, the good news about Jesus is that in the midst of our hurt, in the midst of our stress, in the midst of life, in the midst of our broken world, God sends us Jesus, and through Jesus we can have joy.

We might need to fight for that joy, but His joy, Jesus’ joy, is constant, and it’s unchanging.

This article originally appeared here.