I am reading a book called Laugh Again by Charles Swindoll. It is a good book and I have heard his sister Lucy speak in person. They are a happy family that grew up in a ton of joy. That is not to say that I did not have joy but there was an extra dose given to the Swindolls growing up. I have only read three chapters and it spreads out all sorts of verses, especially from the book of Philippians, on how or why to have joy no matter the circumstance. I haven't read to the end so perhaps the book will touch on this, but there is an important component missing so far where most books miss the mark. HOW do you access that joy. Can you just have that 'power of positive thinking?' Is it JUST a choice? For some individuals, I think it is a simple choice, and for others constant contact with the Father is needed in order access the smallest amount of this joy.
Although the book of Philippians is chock full of the word joy...the hows, whens and whys, I came across chapter 7 in 2 Corinthians. In it Paul says, "in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds." It seems that when he says something like this, there are always people involved; people who need saving, people who need comforting or are comforters, people who need an education in the Lord.
Many areas in the Bible talk about the reciprocal effect of friendship. This too comes from the 7th chapter of Corinthians.
But God comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. v. 6-7
In addition to our own encouragement we we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit had been refreshed by all of you. v 13
There is a chain effect, and it comes back to bless you when you bless others. Even those that don't believe in Jesus, talk about 'pay it forward' but do we REALLY do this? I have a couple of Timothys in my life. One in particular that has recently been much encouragement and a gigantic hands on help. Romans 5:6 states that, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." I think that our Timothys come along, 'at just the right time' as well.
When you have a special needs kiddo you often think you can't be a Timothy to anyone else. And that is partially true. Especially if that need is emotional/behavioral the toll can be enormous. Even then, you can pray with a joyful heart. Or even a not-so joyful heart. The key is conversing with the Lord..and as you do so, he will let you know who to bless. He will also bring to mind the blessings you have already received and give ideas for the future.
This song, Give me your eyes by Brandon Heath, is a prime example of how I want to think every day. I have embedded the video with captions and you can link to the original video below.
For original video click (no captions) HERE.