There are moments in life that are utterly delightful if we are wise enough to take the time to appreciate them. A quiet, sunny summer morning conversing uninterrupted with my wife over a good cup of coffee is what does it for me. I’m sure you have moments that fit your own formula of delight. Those kinds of moments are the easy ones to appreciate, of course. When there’s not a problem in the world that comes to mind and everything is wonderful, the experience of joy is readily available.
The thing about delightful moments is that they tend to pass by. If we don’t take the time to acknowledge the good things for which we have reason to be grateful, we can miss out on our opportunity to enjoy the gifts of momentary gladness that God gives us. I dare say that every single day is laden with delightful moments if we are attentive enough to capture them. But we have to be adept enough to notice them, and deliberate enough to spend our time experiencing them.
For as many reasons that we can find to be delighted, we can find just as many reasons – or more – to be disgruntled. Being human, the disruptive elements in a moment can easily inundate our otherwise blissful state of being. The neighbor’s gas-powered leaf blower on a quiet, sunny summer morning is enough to ruin everything!
Acknowledging that life’s frustrations are abundant, how is it possible to find any meaningful, lasting joy in our life? Jesus Christ gives us a clue in John 16:33, “‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’”
The Bible is very clear in letting us know that life is hard, especially living as a Christian! But Jesus doesn’t tell us that we just have to be tough and suffer through it without any hope of relief in this life. He encourages us to rise above the reasons that we have to complain, and focus instead on the reasons we have to be cheerful. This world in which we find struggle is the same world that Jesus Christ has overcome. And in doing that, He has given us a hope that is far greater than relief from the struggles in life. We have the kind of hope that makes all problems infinitesimally insignificant – if we take the time to acknowledge and meditate on the infinite wonder of eternal life.
We have to look in the right places to find joy. It is not too difficult to indulge in a temporary hedonistic experience, but those will inevitably lead us down the wrong path. We obtain lasting joy by being filled with the Holy Spirit, which helps us understand our life with the mind of Christ and overflow with positive emotion. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul shares his perspective that a delightful state of being is attainable to us all, inspiring us to have a song in our heart!
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:17-20).
Our state of mind and Way of Life is filled with inspiration of God’s Spirit. Having God live with or even within us through His Holy Spirit allows us to be thankful for ALL things. Even the hard things that attempt to disrupt our delight serve a meaningful purpose for us in our spiritual growth as we learn to overcome (compare Romans 8:28). By setting our outlook in this way, we understand that each moment is a gift from God that offers us an opportunity to be thankfully delighted, with a song in our heart, knowing that His Will is working in our lives.