The Glad Texts

by Ruth Hallstead

Paul (Selden, not the apostle) reminded us on Friday to rejoice in the joy of the Lord. With spring break coming up, bringing with it thoughts of sunshine and beaches (or at least no classes), it’s a good week to continue in that theme. Joy is a powerful emotion, and one of my personal favorites. There is no better feeling than smiling until your face hurts and laughing until you cry. However, with homework, sleep deprivation, work, rain, bills, taxes, life… and everything else piling up around us it can be easy to slip into negativity. Complaining is a major part of our society. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In the movie Pollyanna, the town preacher is one of those fire and brimstone, eternal damnation every Sunday preachers. One day, Pollyanna comes to him and asks whether he likes what he does (since he’s so negative all the time), and they begin to talk about his job. Pollyanna tells the preacher there are over 800 happy texts in the Bible, and “if God took the time to tell us 800 times to be glad and rejoice, he must have wanted us to do it”! This sparks a spiritual awakening in the preacher, and changes his entire life. Now I have no idea if that number is correct, but I do know there are a lot of passages about joy, gladness, and rejoicing! Across 13 translations, the word joy is found 470 times in the bible, while sadness is only found 29 times! After the resurrection, we were upgraded. We were transformed from hopelessly lost, broken people into God’s people, His masterpieces! If that isn’t something to rejoice about, then I don’t know what is. Truly joyful, positive people are some of the best people to be around, and as Christians that’s what we should aspire to be. Life won’t always be sunshine and rainbows… but we will always have Jesus and for that we can be happy! Give it a try today– read some glad verses, and find something to be joyful about in every situation throughout your day. Whether it’s that a really boring class got out ten minutes early, or simply the sun was shining on your walk across campus, you can (and should) find something good in every situation.