I have discovered that a joyful countenance has nothing to do with one's age or one's occupation (or lack of it) or one's geography or education or marital status or good looks or circumstances. Joy is a choice!
Joy is a matter of attitude that stems from one's confidence in God—that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen. Either we fix our minds on that and determine to laugh again, or we wail and whine our way through life, complaining that we never got a fair shake. We are the ones who consciously determine which way we shall go. To paraphrase the poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
One ship sails east
One ship sails west
Regardless of how the winds blow.
It is the set of the sail
And not the gale
That determines the way we go.
Regardless of how severely the winds of adversity may blow, we set our sails toward joy.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.