For many people, finding joy seems like an impossible task. There always seems to be a problem to worry about or suffering to face. We know that joy is associated with Christianity, but it often seems totally out of reach. Here’s some good news. Because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you already possess the joy you seek! It’s just a matter of tapping into it. I recently wrote an article for the National Catholic Register on 5 Ways To Find Greater Joy Today.
1. Stop Complaining
Without a doubt, the simplest and most effective way to experience joy is to stop complaining. Not only is this totally under your control, but it works amazingly well. Griping serves no purpose and is offensive to God. The Bible instructs us to “do all things without grumbling or questioning” (Philippians 2:14), but we often manage to overlook or ignore that message. If you can limit (or avoid) complaining today, you will please the Lord and feel more joy. It really is that simple.
2. Count Your Blessings
Joy and ingratitude cannot coexist. Unless you find a way to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude,” you will never fully experience the joy of the Holy Spirit. I’ll be honest with you: Gratitude does not come naturally for me. I have a tendency to be a complainer, especially about the little annoyances of life. As a result, I have learned to force myself (and that is no exaggeration) to thank God for my blessings when I wake up in the morning. Every day, I thank him for letting me wake up and get out of bed, for having a roof over my head, for my family, for hot water, for food to eat, for my eyesight and hearing, for my relationship with him and for anything else that may come to mind. Getting into the habit of doing this has increased my awareness of the way God blesses me every day.
3. Read Scripture
Every time you read the Bible, you have an encounter with the Lord. As a result of that encounter, your joy will increase. According to the prophet Jeremiah:
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart. (Jeremiah 15:16)
If you’re not sure where to start, try reading the daily Mass readings. They are available online (EWTN.com/daily-readings/) or from magazines such as Magnificat or The Word Among Us. How much time should you spend? Start with 5-10 minutes a day. You can increase it over time, but not at the expense of your daily responsibilities. Your disposition can change dramatically by giving the Lord just a few minutes of your time each day.
You can read my full article HERE.