Peace and joy are meant to connect with each other in our hearts. When we are at peace, joy rises. When joy rises, we are at peace. It’s an ever upward spiral.
Decide in advance that you will do whatever it takes to get your heart right and then do it even if it will kill all previous versions of you. You need to ask yourself, what makes your heart beat in ways that make you stronger, more courageous, more giving and more loving? Figure out what makes your heart skip a beat with joy and what makes it miss a beat with dysfunction and distraction.
Take with you the joy of Easter to the home, and make that home bright with more unselfish love, more hearty service; take it into your work, and do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; take it to your heart, and let that heart rise anew on Easter wings to a higher, a gladder, a fuller life; take it to the dear graveside and say there the two words “Jesus lives!” and find in them the secret of calm expectation, the hope of eternal reunion.
The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express that same delight in God which made David dance. I am not saying that this is so pure or profound a thing as the love of God reached by the greatest Christian saints and mystics. But I am not comparing it with that, I am comparing it with the merely dutiful ‘church-going’ and laborious ‘saying our prayers’ to which most of us are, thank God not always, but often, reduced. Against that it stands out as something astonishingly robust, virile, and spontaneous; something we may regard with an innocent envy and may hope to be infected by as we read.
Joy is prayer – Joy is strength – Joy is love – Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen.