It can be difficult to think of God as being joyful; sometimes we are more comfortable creating a stern, unsmiling authoritarian. Our idea of a holy God is inevitably influenced by our finite conceptions of goodness and purity. Because of the world’s pain, sometimes we focus on God only as a suffering God, entering the brokenness of the world. When we ourselves experience joy, perhaps we view it as something disconnected from God, and we quickly return to our religious selves.
We can cultivate joy by pausing a moment in our daily hectic schedules and listening, looking, and becoming aware of where we are. Marvel for a moment at the breathtaking color combinations of flowers, the riveting song of a bird, people laughing over coffee while relaxing together—these are the sights and sounds of joy. Joy emanates from our creative God through music, beauty, and love. When we experience joy, we are actually participating in the joyful, triune God—our joy cannot be separate from God’s.