Welcome back for more on joy! We’ve talked about what exactly joy is – how it’s not temporary like happiness. Last time we thought about some things that can try to take our joy away. This week, we’ll go through those obstacles and find ways to keep them from stealing our joy.
When I feel out of control, a lot of times I forget why I should have joy. Sometimes circumstances make me feel powerless. I don’t like that.
What it comes down to, though, is forgetting that God is bigger than whatever I’m worried about.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4
It doesn’t matter what’s going on. God is more powerful. Always.
But sometimes it isn’t as much about if God can do something. Sometimes it’s about whether He will do it.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him. – Psalms 28:7
When something is wrong, I feel like I know the best solution. And if anything else happens, then I’m asking God why He didn’t fix things better.
The problem is that I see what I think is best based on what I know. And I don’t know everything. God does. So if He sees a different way to work out a situation, as hard as it may be, I need to trust that it’s for the best.
That doesn’t mean that when bad things happen God made it that way. Sometimes people mess up and have to suffer consequences. Sometimes people who had nothing to do with it get caught up in those consequences. But even then, God can use a bad situation for good.
When I know I’ve done something wrong, I feel terrible inside. I can’t rest. I’m downright miserable. And I guess to a degree that’s good. We should feel remorse. But we need to get back our joy.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust. – Psalms 103:12-14
God gets it. Jesus came as a human and was tempted like we are. He knows what it’s like to walk in this world and live for another one.
We will mess up. And when we do, we can be confident that God will forgive us.
Better than recovering from guilt, though, is avoiding it.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes… – Psalms 19:8
We will never be perfect. But we can do our best to follow God’s plan for our lives. It’s not an easy life, but it’s so much better than the alternative.
Life can be hard. Bad things happen. It’s not possible to be happy all the time, but even when we are sad, we can still be joyful.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalms 16:11
That’s because joy comes from God. Because the source of our joy is constant, we can always find it. Sometimes it’s harder than others. But at the end of it all, we have a Father Who loves us and wants the best for us. Who is taking care of us. Who nothing can defeat. What better reason to have joy could there be?
Let’s work to hold on to our joy even when we can’t be happy. When we feel out of control. When guilt tries to crush us. And when the sad times come.
How do you keep your joy when life fights against you?
May the Lord bless and keep you,