What Jennifer Lawrence Teaches us about the Strength of True Joy

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Joy: A source or cause of great happiness; success in doing, finding, or getting something.[1]

I found the title of David O. Russell’s new film Joy to be an ironic yet accurate representation of the story of a determined young woman. Inspired by a true story, this film is certainly not the most joyous, nor is the character whose name the title takes after. In the film, Joy, an inventor, is a single mom who is foundation to an incredibly dysfunctional family. She spends her time raising two kids, playing mediator between her divorced parents, and maintaining am odd, but close friendship with her ex-husband. She works hard but seems to get little in return.

It seems unexpected that in the midst of her chaotic and less than joyous life, Joy invents a self-ringing mop that ends up putting her into more debt and bringing her more stress. Yet, in amongst it all we see Joy’s determination and constant persistence to follow her heart and do what is right.

Joy may not be a story of deep happiness. But it is a story about real life. It is about facing surmounting odds and continuing to press on. We do not live in a perfect word. Inevitably all of us will face challenges like Joy’s sometime in our life. While hopefully none of us will have to endure living under the same roof as both our divorced parents and our own ex-husband, there will be times of financial difficulty, relational tensions, fraudulent bosses, and injustice. Sin has corrupted the perfect world God created.

The beauty in Joy is that in the midst of life’s struggles we keep pressing on. We have the Lord’s strength to fill us everyday so that we may not sit passively, but that we would take risks, follow where the Lord leads our heart, and fight for what is right.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joy

– Megan W

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