We’ve all heard the cliche, “Enjoy the little things.” It’s what we’re told to do when we’re down, depressed, and having a hard time finding joy in life. Without joy, life can seem meaningless. You might be struggling to get out of bed in the morning, to enjoy work, or to feel fulfilled in your relationships because you lack joy. Today I’m going to take you one small step in the right direction, by helping you find joy in beauty. Read on for one small step toward joy|finding joy in beauty.
Everything Feels Empty – How to Have a Joyful Mindset
Do you know the difference between happiness and joy? Sometimes they might feel like the same thing – they can both make you feel satisfied with life. But joy lasts longer than happiness does. Happiness is an emotion; it can be stirred up by something as simple as your favorite ice cream flavor or the sight of a butterfly. Joy, on the other hand, is a long-lasting posture of your heart. It must be cultivated with time and effort, similar to the way one waters a garden.
You might already know that, but I want to assure you that happiness is very important. In fact, finding ways to stir up happiness is a key to cultivating joy. I recently heard a story of a mentor helping a young woman recover from trauma. The young woman’s experiences were horrifying, and she struggled to believe that she could ever experience joy again. Her mentor suggested she make a list each week of good things that had happened in her life. Over time, listing things that made her happy in the moment became a practice that fostered long-term joy.
Counting your blessings is a popular and very effective practice for growing your joy, but I want to focus on a more specific way to do that. Let’s take a step back and consider the role of beauty in our lives. So many of the things we call “blessings” simply bless us with their beauty. Why is beauty so valuable to us? When we answer this question, we can be more deeply satisfied when we encounter beautiful things. Read more about one small step toward joy|finding joy in beauty.
Why Beauty Leads to Joy
“Consider the lilies of the field,” said Jesus to his disciples. “They do not labor or spin, yet even King Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed like one of these” (Matthew 6:28-30). Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and he was pointing out to his disciples that every one of God’s creations had everything it needed to thrive. “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you?” he asked them.
Perhaps you’ve heard this passage before. Many people, including myself, tend to get the “main point” of the passage – trust God for his provision – and move on. But I invite you to pause at the very first word – “consider.” Have you ever really stopped to consider a lily? To “stop and smell the roses,” as it were? Jesus pointed out that lilies have short lives, and are little noticed by most people. Yet God puts an incredible amount of intention into each lily he creates. They are a flawless design, a graceful concept. And these are just one of thousands of types of flowers he creates, and flowers are an even smaller fraction of the great expanse that is creation. Read more about one small step toward joy|finding joy in beauty.
God is creative. He enjoys carefully selecting each aspect of a flower’s design, even though the flower will quickly wilt and decompose. I would even venture to say that God takes joy in the creative process of arranging every detail of – well, everything. We see his joy in Proverbs 8:30-31, where God’s Wisdom is personified.
When he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.Proverbs 8:30-31
This passage leads straight into my next point – you, as a part of creation, bring God joy. You are beautiful. Engaging in the beauty of other creations will, inevitably, cause you to reflect on your own. When you consider the beauty of a lily and how much joy God felt when he created it, then won’t you begin to wonder how much joy he feels when he looks at you?
You can have a personal relationship with God. To find true joy in your life, we invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page.
Taking Part in God’s Joy
To sum this article up, yes, you should count your blessings. But you should also consider each blessing carefully. Take your time with each one. Did you see a butterfly today? Consider its beauty. Consider how delicately and intricately God created it, and how proud he must be of that creation. Wouldn’t you be proud if you had invented the butterfly? God’s creations bring him joy.
And get this – you are the creation that brings God the most joy.
In Genesis, God calls the sky and plants and animals “good,” but he calls humans “very good.” When he created humans, he ceased his creative work – humanity was his capstone, his “masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10).
So as you consider each beautiful thing you encounter, two things happen. Firstly, you’ll feel the happiness that comes with being connected to another part of creation. (By the way, that happiness is something you and God share because you’re created in his image.) But secondly, if you take the time to reflect, you’ll find yourself considering God’s joy for you. It may take some time, but that joy will eventually seep into your life. You won’t be able to help it. When you think about the joy God feels when he looks at you, you’ll find that satisfaction and meaning you’re looking for. Confidence will arise and your life will begin again.