Yesterday I spent some time going through some of Spurgeon's thoughts on joy. Specifically how we need to look after our joy and nurture it. Today, to continue that thought, I want to see if I can list specific ways that can be done. It's easy to say "ok, go look after your joy", but it can be quite another to actually do that. What does it look like to nurture joy in your life? To a certain extent, this might be a question whose answer varies from person to person, but I'm still going to try to lay out some specifics to help us in this journey.
1. A true understanding of what it means to be saved.
David prays in the psalms for the Lord to restore to him the joy of his salvation. We need to remind ourselves of what Christ has done for us. We need to remember the sacrifice he made and not let that knowledge grow stale, old, and taken for granted.
2. A true understanding of what we are saved from.
We are saved from our sin, the things that we did to destroy ourselves and others. More than that, though, we are saved from Hell and eternal separation from God. Which leads us to 3...
3. A true understanding of what we are saved for.
(Grammer police, I realize these last two points are probably driving you crazy. I'm sorry, but not sorry enough to fix it. I write the way I speak, what can I say?) Anyway, we need to study the Scriptures and learn what eternity has in store for us now that we are saved. The wonders of heaven never cease to amaze me when I contemplate them. They also remind me of Who my focus should be on and Who I'm living for. A book I once read said that if you make eternity a line going on forever, our lives are a tiny dot in comparison. For that reason, we should live for the line, not for the dot. It is hard not to be joyful when you remember the hope of heaven Christ has given us. A place where "there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying[, and t]here shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).
Beyond these, I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to be faithful in Bible study and prayer as a main way of renewing your joy. These concepts are doctrines that can be found all over the scriptures and the best way to keep our eyes on Christ, and to learn what He wants us to know, is to spend time with him daily.
Tomorrow, I'll see what I can dig out about peace.