Scraping ice off your windscreen. Having more month left than money. Going to work in the dark. Coming home from work in the dark. Bad weather. Failing new year resolutions. Post-Christmas chocolate withdrawal symptoms. The January diets. All things we hate about January!

There are only two more weeks and we will have made it through January and into February. But while we are here and it is still January the blues are for some, a very real thing. I feel like most people are affected by the January blues and I’m included.

Being a January baby, maybe I notice it more than others. I have often felt the cold reality of other people’s sadness and gloom in this season. I have found that it is our lack and our wanting at this time of year that can lead to this unhappiness. I have also found it in the attitude of our friends or neighbours, due to their own lack or want. Often people’s emotions and attitudes can have an impact on your life. Just in the same way our own emotions and attitudes can lead to a change in other people lives.

Do we have to do things we enjoy to have joy in our lives? So often I have found that my joy comes from my enjoyment. However, as a child of God, I should be filled with Joy all the time because I know Jesus’s sacrifice has ultimately paid the price for my salvation.

I love the 1991 movie Hook. (You didn’t think you would get a blog from me without a movie reference, did you?) The movie is all about Robin Williams’ character finding his happy place so he can become Peter Pan once again. Having watched it recently I realised that everyone is looking for their happy place but from time to time we choose to find it in worldly things such as material possessions, completing life goals or good weather.

However, I don’t believe we can be who God has called us to be, without joy.

Perfect, complete and never-ending joy can only come from God and the knowledge of what he has done for us. I’d love to say I had perfect joy all the time but I don’t. I’d even love to say I try to remember to have some joy some of the time but even this can be hard to achieve. So, what does authentic joy look like and how can our attitude reflect the joy we feel. Maybe it starts with the small things. Smiling to a stranger. Bringing in our neighbour’s bins for them. Sending an encouraging word to a friend.

At this time of year, here are three things to consider…

We should remember that our Joy, ultimately should come from God. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Also, remember our Joy has a knock-on effect on those around us. Philemon 1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Why not consider this time of year and your attitude towards it? Philippians 4:4 Rejoice…have joy all the time.

Remember that God has given us many things to be joyful about and see how your actions can make a difference to other people’s joy and your own.