You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
In this life of pain, joy is embattled. Just like faith. And Paul says to Timothy, “Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). So it is with joy. We must work for it and fight for it. Paul said to the Corinthians, “We work with you for your joy” (2 Corinthians 1:24).
How then shall we fight for joy? Here are 15 pointers.
#1 Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.
#2 Realize that joy must be fought for relentlessly. And don’t be put off by the paradox of these first two pointers!
#3 Resolve to attack all known sin in your life, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
#4 Learn the secret of gutsy guilt — how to fight like a justified sinner.
#5 Realize that the battle is primarily a fight to see — to see God for who he is.
#6 Meditate on the word of God day and night.
#7 Pray earnestly and continually for open heart-eyes and an inclination for God.
#8 Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself.
#9 Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight.
#10 Be patient in the night of God’s seeming absence.
#11 Get the rest, exercise, and proper diet that your body was designed by God to have.
#12 Make a proper use of God’s revelation in nature — take a walk in the woods.
#13 Read great books about God and biographies of great men and women of God.
#14 Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (your verbal witness and deeds of mercy).
#15 Get a global vision for the cause of Christ, and pour yourself out for the unreached.