A Joy-Filled Life

I was watching some comedy the other day and it made me laugh more than I`ve laughed in a long time. These guys were good! They had a way of finding quirky little things about human nature and weaving them through their presentation with the skill of master craftsmen! And, by the way, how do they get their faces to do that?

It’s good to laugh though, isn’t it? Solomon said, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken” (Prov. 15:13). Further, “A joyful heart is good medicine...” (Prov. 17:22). Did you get that? Joyfulness is good medicine!

There is no shortage of medical evidence to support what the Bible says about living a joyful life. Joyful people are less likely to have a heart attack and more likely to have a list of other health benefits, positive benefits to do with blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress levels.

An expert in the field, Dr. Cynthia Thaik says that “humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy levels, and help diminish pain.” With all these health benefits, learning to live a joyful life may be the most cost effective way to better health care!

Dr. Thaik suggests five ways to add more joy to your life.

1. Keep it simple. If you’re over committed then you don’t have time to do those things that you really enjoy. Cut out the unnecessary things. Learn to say no.

2. Make a conscious decision to enjoy life more. Be intentional about this. Try looking for those things that you can be thankful for, even in the midst of life`s challenges.

3. Make your own personal joy list. Writing the things down that bring joy into your life is easy and a great way to remember. Try making a list of ten things and then work them into your daily routine one at a time.

4. Spend more time with the people you love and with other happy people. God designed us to live in community. We do need each other but we also need people in our lives that encourage us and add a little spice. “My best friend,” says Henry Ford, “Is the one who brings out the best in me!”

5. Be kind to someone else. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve made a positive difference in someone else’s life. Paul shares this principle with the church in Acts 20:35. “You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’”

Christmas is just around the corner, a season of celebration and joyous news. On that special night the angel told some Bethlehem shepherds, “... Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people ... today your Savior is born” (Luke 2:10-11).

You can bring more joy into your life by heeding Dr. Thaik’s advice. Make some choices. Be intentional. Learn to laugh. That`s all very good. I believe, however, that the greatest joy comes from receiving the good news announced by the angel 2,000 years ago. I have found that Jesus really is the ultimate source for a joy-filled life.