An Overwhelming Joyous Life!
Would you describe your life as a joyous one? Do you often feel a strong sense of overwhelming joy boil up through your soul and spew forth from the vibes of your body? Well, that last question might be a bit over the top, but perhaps you have had a moment in which you have experienced the gasp of an awesome joyous sensation at least at some point in your life. Most often we associate these type experiences in the moments of life that are considered once in a lifetime, like the birth of a child or overcoming strong adversity. We don’t however often consider joyous moments in the midst of potential problems or complicated situations. However, in the story of Christmas, it appears that the Virgin Mary did just that. During one of the most complicated situations and predicaments of her life, she bursts forth in song.
A Joyous Attitude, No Matter What!
What would motivate this young girl who finds herself with an unexplained pregnancy that potentially jeopardizes not only her upcoming marriage, her character, and puts her very life in danger; to sing a joyous praise song for her situation? It sounds rather ludicrous that instead of fear and worry she is singing with wild and joyous abandonment glorifying God for who He is and what He is doing for her and ultimately the world. This joyous song of praise is called “The Magnificat and it is named such after the first word of its first line in Latin, “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” or “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Mary sings from the deep bowels of her soul from the overwhelming joy she experiences over the beauty and encouragement that God brings through His mercy.
Mary realizes that she can overcome her adversity and potential pitfalls of her situation because of the promises of God that she reveals in the joyous words of her song as she realizes her purpose in life. Mary knows that God has commissioned her for this work, and she vows to do her very best in that commission. Mary’s joyous attitude derives from the promises of God that are revealed through her part in the revelation as she embraces her life now filled with purpose.
“How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”Luke 1:47 (NLT)
Purpose and Joy – A Scientific Connection
A life that holds a strong sense of purpose is one that does sing with a joyous attitude despite the circumstances. There is a growing body of literature and research on how a person that understands their personal purpose in life leads a life of improvements in both physical and mental health which obviously enhances their overall quality of life. A recent 27-year research study that involved 6985 adults concluded this year that there was a definite association that existed between life purpose and all-cause or cause-specific mortality. So, not only does having a strong sense of life purpose make you a more joyous person it also makes you a healthier one that lives longer.
Clearly, people lacking purpose in life can potentially feel hopeless and not have the motivation to live an active or healthy lifestyle. However, studies report that those with a strong purpose in life engage in healthy behaviors and have overall better outcomes for a variety of health issues including sleep disturbances, stroke incidences, depression, and diabetes. There are also links seen in slowing down Alzheimer’s disease and heart attacks. So, perhaps you are thinking all that sounds great, but God hasn’t sent an angel down to tell me what my purpose is, therefore, I don’t have a lot to “sing” about.
The 3 Things Needed for a Joyous Life
Determining your purpose in life, however, might not be as difficult as you imagine. Researchers agree that what defines a life purpose is up to each individual. This means that finding meaning in your life can inherently come from a variety of things. Mary, however, clearly teaches us that we can rejoice over each day for the simple fact that Christ is in our lives and for believers, our purpose destiny is eternally set for the positive. The lesson of Mary continues by showing us that we can hold a joyous life no matter our circumstances or surroundings. It is in this that gratitude is found in each day if we take the time to look for it.
Writer, Ken Wert asserts that life matters and in particular, your life matters. God would certainly agree as He created each one of us individually and with a purpose for His plan. Wert says that unhappy people are just unsure people. They are unsure that their life matters and that they need to remove that doubt by living a life rich in meaning, purpose, significance, and in the knowledge of a joyous life well lived.
The practical ways of achieving this level of joyous life come from 3 things according to professor and writer, Johnathan Haidt. He contends if you get these 3 things right it will put you into the world, drawing you within its workings. You may see that these 3 things align very closely with Biblical teachings as well.
- Show gratitude for the good things in life as this will improve connections with others
- Focus and use the strengths you have and forget about the rest including your weaknesses
- Help others at all times
Living the Ultimate Joyous Life
Living a life practicing these 3 things while keeping your focus on the goodness of God will, in turn, engage your passions giving you the support you not only need but that you crave. This brings a sense of meaning and purpose to life. Furthermore, there is joy found in life through and because of God’s love for us that began with the birth of Jesus.
The joyous life of a Christian stems from knowing that we are unconditionally loved and that there is nothing that can take that love away. No sickness, failure, emotional issues, oppression, suppression, war, terror, or even death can remove what we hold with Christ. Life with Him is life present with joy even in the midst of sadness and circumstances of gloom. Marveling at the world and all that God offers us allows us to see beyond the darkness of the world holding hope for a better day. This is the deep-seated attitude of gratitude that allows the light to shine in the darkness.
Won’t you challenge yourself to live a joyous life each day living life as if it is your last on earth and making it count? Find your conviction in giving God your worship through joyous rejoicing over all that He does for you because He loves you. Be motivated to spread your inner joy and rejoicing through seeing the good in your life and being thankful for it. Lastly, find comfort in knowing that there is nothing that can remove the joy of Christ in you. So, sing your own Magnificat allowing the light of God to burst out of you in joyous song.
Love in Christ,
It is supposed by some that religion makes people solemn, takes the sunshine out of their life, the joy out of their heart, the song out of their mouth. But the reverse of this is the truth. No other one in the world has such secrets of joy as has the Christian. Christ teaches his followers to rejoice. He bids them rejoice even in sorrow and trial.”J.R. Miller
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you live a joyous life no matter your circumstances? Have you found purpose and meaning in your life? Share your thoughts on how the importance of meaning and purpose in your life allows you to hold a joyous attitude for others to witness.
Credits Aliya Alimujiang, A. W. (2019, May 24). Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years. Journal of American Medical Association. Chicago, IL, USA: JAMA Network. Clifford, C. (2019, April 11). Health and Wellness - Happiness expert: These are the 3 components of lasting happiness (and the mistakes people make). Retrieved from CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/11/nyus-jonathan-haidt-formula-for-lasting-happiness-and-purpose.html