Changing Our Low-Joy Nation

How is your joy level lately? Your gladness quotient? High? How is your shalom going? Everything alright or going to be alright in your world? Are you in synch with God and others? Well then, stay away from media, social media, and conversations with people around you. At least for the next few weeks.
We are in an election cycle that appears distinctly different than what I have ever experienced before. How has it been for you?
Now I don’t really mean stay away from people. Actually, God is calling all joy-starting/shalom-soaked Christians to be with people…our nation needs us.
Today, if you are an American, you live in a society where everything that happens- significant or insignificant, it doesn’t matter- becomes a huge overblown crisis. Currently, the United States is a low-joy nation whose people are not experiencing shalom.  The USA needs Christians who live like Jesus. Why? Jesus only focuses on the truth.
What happens when we are a low-joy nation?
We know low-joy places breed problems. And it appears low-joy has reached the highest levels of this land. That is a big problem.
In the United States today, our national leaders have finally succumbed to becoming almost pure predators. The opposite of Jesus. This is a huge blow to any decency or civility we might expect.
You see, without following God’s ways, we will become predators. Naturally, without God’s intervention, it is all about our own perceived survival.
Today’s political and social agendas have been overtaken by low-joy predatory leaders. Jim Wilder explains what a predator is in Joy Starts Here (pg. 13). He uses the metaphor of a herd of animals. Think of where we are at right now as a nation and listen to these words:

“Predators discover the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of others and exploit them. Predators use weaknesses to obtain or retain dominance in the food chain. Predators fiercely guard their positions and will hurt others in the herd if threatened. Predators also do their best to hide their weaknesses and appear strong to assure their positions. Predators are the most common product of low-joy herds.”

As a nation, we are a low-joy herd. We have national leaders who are predators. The whole political system we have developed to this point feeds predators. You know it. I know you know it because that’s all everybody’s talking about.  When you feed predators it’s like throwing raw meat to alligators. It’s chaotic  and out of synch, guaranteeing low-joy, which brings disaster.
Now, this doesn’t mean we are doomed, but it does provide a wake-up call for each of us. Why? We are the best true hope for America.
We’re the only ones that are capable of taking us out of this low-joy malaise. If we truly follow Jesus, we really are America’s best hope. This is what God calls us to do.
God is calling us to start “global warming.” (Joy Starts Here, pg. 3). Healthy global warming where each of us starts joy, again and again, warming the atmosphere and warming the hearts of those around us. When we spread the joy of the Lord to those around us, when we are able to quickly return from upset and be people of maturity and strength, we influence life in a tremendous way.
In some ultimate sense, elections come and go and it really doesn’t matter who wins. Things are going to work out in the end. Not because of who gets elected, but because of you. You have access to the power of the Holy Spirit to share joy and be a person of shalom.  As you respond to him in this way, you become a real source of transformation and remember- God always wins.
And, our nation’s low-joy level can be changed.

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