A study done by Shawn Anchor and Arianna Huffington found that listening to just three minutes of bad news in the morning can make you 27% more likely to report having a bad day six to eight hours later.
If this study proves anything, it’s that it’s too easy to feel stress in today’s society.
With the abundance of stressors today, not doing anything to combat our stress is actually a choice for stress.
Because stress is so readily available today, we must make joy a discipline.
Putting the words “joy” and “discipline” in the same sentence together doesn’t make sense at first. One word sounds bright and happy while the other sounds morose. How do the two fit together? One thing I’ve learned while studying joy is that joy is not something we automatically have. It must be cultivated (hence, it becomes a discipline).
In John 15:11, when Jesus is talking with the disciples, He makes a distinction. He says, “my joy” and “your joy.” He wants His joy to be in His disciples, and He wants the joy of the disciples to be full.
What does this mean? It means, our joy is different than the joy of Jesus.
Jesus bears complete joy, and He wants our joy to be full like His.Many believers might assume that they automatically have complete joy once they become a Christian. But then once something bad happens, they face a cognitive dissonance.
Weren’t they supposed to have joy in their trials? What’s missing?
In John, we see Jesus consistently compelling the disciples to have full joy like Him (John 16:24). We even see Jesus pray to God that His joy is fulfilled in the disciples (John 17:13).
Joy is not automatic. It is a discipline, a daily choice we must make.
This is important to understand, especially since stress is so easily available to us today. As Christians, we need to strive for the fullness of joy that Jesus wants us to have.
Joy is incomplete without Jesus. As you face the stressors of today, pray for God to increase your capacity for joy in a stressful world. Let’s strive for the joy of Jesus in the face of daily stress.