We have seen that Scripture says this ought to be true of Christians. Every day should be a celebration of joy for us according to 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Philippians 4:4. We know that joy is not exactly the same as happiness. When Dean Spanos announced recently that Norv Turner would return as the Chargers coach many locals were not happy. However, they could still have joy even though unhappy about that circumstance. Joy is a deeper, more abiding thing that can exist even when unhappy events occur.
In that little girl I saw myself. God has revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ. He has purchased for us forgiveness for all our wrong. He has made us his children and promised to be with us forever. He has given us eternal life. He has given us his trustworthy Word to guide us. The list of blessings he has poured out is nearly infinite. And when I don’t get what I want in life, I sometimes throw a tantrum just like that little girl. I can choose joy by simply remembering that every day of my life I should be kissing the feet of my God who has given me gifts that reveal that whatever trifle I’m upset over is in fact trivial. Whatever may happen in my life, God loves me and nothing will ever separate me from his love. I have him as a loving Father and will for eternal life, and that is the root of joy. I may be unhappy about a disappointment life has handed me, but even so my heart can and should be full of joy because of who God is and what he has done for me. I must never forget the truth of what Robert Louis Stevenson said – “to miss the joy is to miss everything.”