A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
When was the last time that you can say that you felt true joy? For some, it may be in the past week. For others, it may feel like it has been forever. When I wrote my book, I chose the title, “Joy Comes with the Mourning,” for a reason. I became convinced that joy is supposed to accompany pain, grief, and heartache.
Think about it. Every single person you know is either just coming out of a trial, going through a current trial, or headed for a trial in the near future. God promised that our lives would not be easy. He promised that trials would come – over and over and over again. I found myself constantly discontent, always waiting for the break between the storms. Did He really want us to live sad and defeated lives, with only flashes of joy?
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. I Peter 4:12, 16, 19
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
We have two choices, when we face trials. We can succumb, or we can succeed. We can allow the difficult times to overtake us, or we can choose to live victoriously. There are several things we need to understand in order to rise above our circumstances and find joy.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Psalm 51:8
For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:20
- We must live in the “now.” I really like the quote that says, “Forgive me, Father…You gave me the perfect gift of ‘right now,’ and I threw it away, hoping for a better gift later.” So often, we live in the regrets of the past or in the desires of the future. We tell ourselves, “I will be happy when _______ happens, or when __________ is over.” We deprive ourselves of joyful living, because we do not think that we can possibly find joy in our current circumstances. Learn to find joy, no matter where you are, and no matter what you are going through.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Psalm 27:6
- We must focus on the appropriate goal. Our chief goal should be to become more like Christ, and to serve Him with our lives. We often tend to concentrate on what is happening around us, instead of on Who is controlling it. If we can claim the sovereignty of God, we will find true and lasting freedom. Our perspective has a lot to do with our perception. Christ is our “true north.” Keep your sight set on Him.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
- We must also understand the difference between “happiness” and “joy.”
“Happiness is most often associated with our circumstances or experiences. Happiness comes when everything is going “right” in our world. Happiness is not a bad thing, but it must be understood that it is fleeting – it will come and go without notice. Joy, on the other hand, is based on truth – on a belief system. Instead of needing a “state of well-being,” that happiness requires, it calls for a “sense of well-being.” The difference is not in the circumstance, but in the state of mind. It’s not having everything that you want and desire, rather, it is wanting and desiring what you already have and being content with that. It is holding out hope that God’s promises are sure and that everything will work out for our good and for God’s glory. It is knowing that every circumstance and experience in our life is designed to bring us closer to God, and to mold us into Christ-likeness. As Christians, this should be our ultimate desire.” – Excerpt from “Joy Comes…,” Holly M. Besser, Perfect Joy Ministries, Copyright 2014 http://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/joy-comes/
- Be thankful! Not only when you feel like it, but also when all seems lost. Remember Who will ultimately give you the victory in this trial. His ways will never be thwarted – not by us or by anything that can happen to us. Why do you have to go through this? Even when we may not see reasons in this lifetime, the primary answer is always the same: For your good and for God’s glory…every. single. time.
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp6208-12-14
Original post at: http://mommieswithhope.com/2014/08/11/joy-comes-with-the-mourning/