On the surface, “joy at work” may be one of life’s great oxymorons! Think about it. Do you feel joy in your work? Not, are you happy at work. Rather, do you feel true joy in the tasks, the relationships, and the purpose of your work?
This is a theme that God has brought front and center for me personally over the last few weeks. I am on a journey to explore and better understand what that can mean in my life and work in 2016. What about you? If you could experience true joy in your life in 2016, would you want to investigate learning how?
If so, the first hard lesson we have to learn is this. We can’t manufacture joy. We can’t create it on our own. Joy, is a spontaneous by-product of a spirit-filled life!
Galatians 5:22-23 spells this out perfectly. But the fruit of the spirit (emphasis mine) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I desperately want my life to demonstrate all of this fruit in my marriage, my parenting and yes, in my work. And I especially want to discover, enjoy and reflect … true joy.
How can we do that? How can we find true JOY in our life and work in 2016?
- Live each day guided by the Holy Spirit – John 15:4 powerfully tells us how: Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
- Focus on the joy of the Lord as your strength – Nehemiah 8:10 says: Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. The very joy we seek is God’s joy!
- Recognize that God’s joy is not in the absence of adversity, but in His presence – true joy can be found in all of life’s circumstances, not just when things are going well.
- Be ready to obey God’s word – in order to obey it, you have to read it. I have been distracted lately. I must open my Bible in my lap (or app), read it, highlight it, and ask the Holy Spirit to show me what I need to learn each day.
- Bring joy to your coworkers – and finally, we don’t want to hoard our joy for ourselves. Your heart, filled with joy, will bring joy to others. Luke 2:10 says: …I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
The result of pursuing a spirit-filled life is so powerful and so meaningful. As you focus on these five things (or others God shows you), you will begin to see specific examples of this fruit unveiled in your life. That is so awesome! Look for them. Celebrate them. The Holy Spirit gives us a special joy when we make the right choices, especially when it speaks life into someone else.
Likewise, when you blow it (as I often do), when you say or do the wrong thing, learn from it. Do not let the Enemy lie to you and convince you that you cannot change. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
If this speaks to you today, I pray that you will pursue making joy at work an important focus of your 2016. If that is the case, I would really love to pray for you in your journey and I would be honored if you would pray for me, as well. Reply in the Comments section below, email me or send me a direct Twitter message.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!