She’s world famous, known for her smile. From every angle she seems to be smiling at you – still smiling some 500 years after she was painted. The beautiful Mona Lisa. Painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in the early 1500’s. And in her smile, I think is a lesson for us, to have us smile at our days. In saying that there are days we all have without much cause to smile about and sometimes the events of the day (or children’s antics?!) can even wipe the smile off our faces! I’m not advocating us mimicking the Mona Lisa smile for real, or going around with a Cheshire cat grin on our faces, but we can live a life of joy despite what happens in our days.
Joy is defined as a “triumph, cheerful and a calm delight, a deep feeling of contentment.” Some have described it as “the feeling of grinning inside.” It is something that should reside beneath the surface. Joy is not happiness which is a feeling and comes and goes. It is also not based on our circumstances. As Richard Wagner once said “joy is not in things, it is in us.” As Christians we have access to a joy that exists regardless of what our circumstances are like. Jesus said “I have come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)
A life of joy is found in a life that is centred on God. When we lift our eyes off our circumstances, including our hard circumstances and onto God, we can find strength for our days and yes joy.
“Be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
“May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Romans 15:13)
You have filled my heart with greater joy. (Psalm 4:7)