A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
I think of this truth as I look my aunts who are in their late 80s, 90s and 100s and the one thing they all seem to have in common – joy. Joy is truly a medicine, and apparently one that prolongs life.
You get joy by developing a habit of knowing, praising and worshiping God and letting Him carry the burden of the things that would otherwise make you anxious. This is why we are commanded to always rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil 4: 4-6 (NIV)
It is not a coincidence that we are asked by the Apostle Paul to rejoice (in the Lord) just before he tells us not to be anxious about anything. Joy comes from knowing God and His love for you, and knowing that He is bigger than any problem or challenge you may be facing.
Joy leads to peace, and peace manifests as joy. Both are indicators of a close relationship with God.
Joy is peace dancing. Peace is joy resting. – F.B. Meyer.
Both joy and peace are fruit you bear from allowing God’s Spirit to be active in you.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Put another way, joy is being anxiety free; it is knowing that God your Father who loves you dearly is many dimensions bigger than whatever the source of your anxiety may be. Why not turn over your anxiety to God today and choose joy?