From the book Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life’s Uneven Surfaces

I want to be a person living with joy amid the mysteries of life. I desire to be joyful in hope. 

I know this isn’t easy. 

It isn’t easy for me. 

But my friend David Stokes taught me about the giving of joy and the receiving of joy. He gave me gifts and food and rides and laughter. David would not receive anything in return. What did he want? For me to receive his gifts. To eat and enjoy every bite of the meals. To notice a deer glaring back. To relax as he drove me down roads I’d never traveled before. To trust him on the water. 

Doesn’t God do that? Steer us, feed us, nourish us, dare us, smile at us? 

A better awareness in such a God offers a hope—even during difficult times. And because of the larger hope, joy is what can be received now. 

Let us confront our out-of-balance lives. We lean too far to the news or to the bank account or to the media report. It would be so much better if we leaned more toward the Source of hope and joy. Those two words—joy and hope—are so missing in our culture. But we crave them. We desire them. We pursue them. 

In the Book of Romans, we can read these life-changing instructions: “Be joyful in hope” (Romans 12:12). Think about that. Like David, we can have a hope deeper than temporary things. 

We can have such a hope that joy comes to our inner selves no matter what is occurring around us. We can make the choice. We should make the choice. We can be joyful in hope.