The Quickest Way to Recapture Joy

I had the opportunity on Tuesday to spend some time with a group of church planters and their wives. Lots of people have big dreams, but none bigger than church planters. They dream about things only God can make happen. It was huge honor for me to be with them.

As I was driving home, I couldn’t help but think about how I love church planting now, but had little joy as a church planter ten years ago. I didn’t enjoy being a church of 20 people because I wanted to have 50 people. I didn’t enjoy being a church of 100 people because I thought life would be better if we had 200 people.

How much of my life have I lived absent of joy? Joy is costs nothing and is always available, yet I’ve chosen at times to live without it. Maybe you have too?

There is a difference in dreaming for the future and wishing for the future. Dreaming inspires you to move forward; wishing causes you to resent where you are.

Many of us spend today wishing things will be different tomorrow.

  • We wish we had a different job.
  • We wish we could finally graduate.
  • We wish we had a bigger house.
  • We wish we made more money.
  • We wish we were married.
  • We wish we could have kids.
  • We wish our kids would sleep through the night.
  • We wish our kids would get out of diapers.
  • We wish we’d get that promotion.
  • We wish our spouse was more like someone else’s spouse.
  • We wish we could sell more, accomplish more, do more.

Wishing for the next stage of life is the quickest way to lose joy in this stage of life.

If I could, I’d go back and savor the small house and the beat up cars and the sleepless nights and the blown out diapers and the small beginnings.

We can never get time back.

So often we spend more time thinking about how the next thing will bring us joy that we forfeit the joy of that moment.

Contentment is the pathway to joy.

You want to experience joy immediately…be content. When we are content with who we are and where we are in life, joy is the biproduct of contentment.

I’m asking God to help me be content these days. I don’t want to miss what’s now in favor of wishing for what’s next. 

7 Responses to The Quickest Way to Recapture Joy

  1. Victoria Mininger

    Thank you Justin. A much needed word for this church planter’s wife. I find it even harder to find joy during the difficult seasons of church planting. Am I dreaming for the future or wishing for the future? Good truth to chew on.

  2. Kat

    Can’t help but notice the words “church planters and their wives” – because church planters can’t be women, or have husbands?

  3. Great reminder. Me and my family are in between houses right. But for 10 years in my last house I had the same verses typed on a piece of paper and taped to my bathroom mirror so I could see it everyday. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I
    know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
    have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
    whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4: 11-13.

    We move into our new house next month. I will be putting these verses back up on my new bathroom mirror. Yes, contentment, gratitude and praise are the pathways to joy!!