Joy is a unique feeling that is often misunderstood and underappreciated. Unlike happiness, which is often pursued, joy can have a significant impact on both our mind and body. As Christians, we believe that joy is a gift of God, a fruit of the Holy Spirit that is produced by God’s work in us and part of God’s will for us. In this article, we will explore the power of joy and how we can experience more of it in our daily lives.
Joy is different from other emotions in that it often relates to achieving something we have longed for, and the outcome exceeds our expectations. It is associated with feeling “blessed” and satisfied with life after experiencing a sense of awe or wonder. While happiness is often pursued, joy is experienced naturally.
The Power of Joy
When we experience joy, our body responds with a series of physiological and psychological changes. Our breathing becomes faster, our heartbeat increases, and our chest and entire body feel warmer. These sensations are caused by the release of adrenaline that makes our body prepared for engagement and movement, making us feel more mentally prepared to take on life’s challenges. These physiological changes are also associated with an improved mood.
In the brain, joy triggers activity in several pleasure-related hot spots that are distributed throughout the brain. The sensation of joy is then spread to other parts of the central nervous system through chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, and endorphins are released when we feel joy.
Joy is both a trait and a state. While some of us only experience it as a result of a joyful situation, others have a capacity for it and are able to experience joy regardless of whether they’ve encountered something joyful. As Christians, we believe that joy is a gift from God, and we can experience it when we are aware of God’s grace and relish His favor.
To experience more joy in our lives, we need to focus on God. Instead of dwelling on our difficulties or things that rob our contentment, we can dwell on God. This is not to say that we should deny our discontent or negative emotions. Like many of the psalmists, we can pour out our hearts to God and tell Him all the things that ail us. But then we submit those things to Him, remember who He is, and find happiness in Him.
The book of Philippians gives us much insight into joy, even though Paul wrote the epistle from prison. Philippians 4:4–8 provides some guidelines for experiencing joy in the Christian life: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Joy is a powerful emotion that can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. As Christians, we believe that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, produced by God’s work in us. By focusing on God and His goodness, we can experience more joy in our daily lives. So, let us embrace joy and allow it to enhance our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being!
If there are ways we can help you find joy, reach out to us. We offer a free consultation so we can build a roadmap back to a place of joy.