As I was sitting down to write this blog, I started thinking about the things that make me happy in the rare instances I’m not my usual cheery self.
Riding my bike tends to change my outlook. Taking a nap has been known to shift my way of thinking. And listening to my favorite music always has a way of turning up the volume on my happy meter.
I’d love to be happy all the time; but life is complex, and some circumstances aren’t very hospitable to happiness. There are days that I’m just not in a good mood. I suspect that to be the case for you too.
One of the great misconceptions some people have about being a Christian is that we are supposed to be happy all the time. But psychologists say it’s not normal to be happy all the time. Not even Jesus was happy all the time.
He wasn’t happy when He turned over the tables in the temple. He wasn’t happy when He heard Lazarus had died. As He hung on the cross, after being beaten to within inches of his life, I don’t think He was happy.
Too often we make the mistake of confusing happiness with joy. We’re either happy or not based on our current situation. Joy is different. It draws no energy from what’s going on around us. Its energy comes from who’s in us.
Colossians 1:27 reminds us that as blood bought believers Christ lives in us and he is the “hope of glory.” The Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 8:11, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
Christ in us brings the promise of new life now and eternal life after death. It’s hard to be spiritually cranky when you know your soul is secure in Jesus. That’s why my soul can be in a good mood even when my flesh isn’t.
To quote Gospel legend Shirley Ceasar, “This joy I have, the world didn’t give to me and the world can’t take it away.” Christ in me is a joy generator.
Resurrection Sunday is coming. When circumstances try to force your human happy meter into the off position, remember the redeeming, restoring, renewing, life-changing, and joy generating power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and spring forward.
Rev. Irv White is the Senior Pastor of Ashford United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. He and his congregation would love for you to stop by for worship on Sunday.
Springing into Joy is brought to you by the Communications Department of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. To be considered as a future blogger, please contact Shannon W. Martin, Director of Communication at Click to email.