"If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received." - Deuteronomy 28:47

Joy does not come naturally to all people. Some struggle with low levels of depression, which leads many to conclude that joy is simply not available.

It’s tempting for those with minor — or major — depression and discouragement, to just forget about it and let the slap-happy people own joy.

There are volumes of material on personality and personality types and how they affect us, but I need it simpler. I’ve reduced all I’ve heard about personality types down to “Pooh Bear's School of Psychology.”

* Tiggers: Tiggers are bouncy, flouncy, trouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! They bounce through life with a spring in their step. They do everything loudly, they tell jokes, and they think everyone is their best friend. Even if they can’t remember your name, you’re their best friend. Of course, joy comes easily to them — right?

* Winnie the Poohs: These gentle folks never get too excited about anything, but they usually have a pleasant look on their faces. They tend to have a hard time making up their minds about anything. They are usually happy to let someone else make the decisions. You ask them about going to lunch, and they respond with, “Oh, you decide.” 

* Rabbits: Rabbits are the task-masters of this world. Get it done, get it done right, and get it done now! Rabbits have a to-do list the size of Montana, and they don’t let much get in their way. They’re usually not the people you want to talk to if you’re having a rough day. They’re likely to tell you to “just deal with it.” Not so sure that rabbits experience much joy. If they do, it’s usually related to the completion of a task!

* Eeyores: This is my favorite personality type. Eeyores are intense, serious people. They have their own personal rain cloud over their heads all the time. They feel things deeply and express things deeply. They get quite annoyed at all those stupid Tiggers who won’t stop smiling! Joy seems pretty elusive for the Eeyores of this world.

But that’s not what Scripture teaches us! Joy is for everyone, including Tiggers, Rabbits, Pooh Bears, and even gloomy guys like Eeyore.

Joy is our birthright from the Holy Spirit. It comes from being connected to God. Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.

That verse doesn’t say that joy is available for only those whose natural personality lends itself easily to feelings of joy. No, it implies that joy is available for all who are in Christ Jesus and whose lives are full of the Holy Spirit.

That gives me hope. It makes me want to keep going.

Holy Spirit, thank you for joy and enthusiasm. They come from You, a gift each day. Bless me with an abundance. Amen.
Jun 8 2018