Ever have those days of frustration, sadness, disappointment? If you’re human in the simplest meaning of the word then you have. You’ve had those moments of unhappiness.
In life we all have those days or weeks or months. Maybe for you even years.
How are you in those times? Do you sulk in the corner waiting for everyone to pat you on the back and say “There, there. It will be okay”? Do you just seclude yourself (this is what I tend to do!)? Or do you rejoice in those hard times? Do you sing His praises because you know that ultimately HE has control and HE knows the end paragraph of your story?
Some people would call this “having a positive outlook” or “glass half full” mentality. Others might say that you’re in denial of your situation or maybe that you just aren’t “dealing with it correctly”.
Here’s what I see when I look at people who are going through hard times but still seem to stay positive:
Here’s the thing: Joy is not happiness. Joy is not the absence of sadness. Joy isn’t even an emotion. Joy is a deep, undeniable peace that you feel right in the depths of your being.
Joy is what happens when you rely on Christ. Joy is like wrapping up in a big soft, fluffy blanket and just resting in His sovereignty(John 16:22). It’s this unmistakable knowing that things will be okay. That no matter what you may be going through, no matter what you might be facing in this moment, no matter who is against you, HE IS FOR YOU.
It took me a long while to discover this. I used to have a little pity party anytime I was “going through” something. I would be the person no one wanted to be around because I was just no fun. When I was sad or mad I let it show.
Then I had one of the hardest years of my life and I learned that I can be joyful even when I’m sad. I can rejoice in Him even when it feels like I am alone(Romans 12:12). I can rest in the knowledge that Christ is my purpose so it doesn’t matter what I’m going through. What matters is that my trust and peace are in Him alone.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:6
This doesn’t mean that I can’t be upset or show sadness. This just means that even when I AM sad, right in the midst of my trials, I won’t lose my JOY. I won’t lose my purpose. I will remember that ultimately, I am here for His purpose and He knows how my trial ends (Psalm 94:19).
But here’s the catch. If you put your happiness in things or people you will never have true JOY (1 Timothy 6:17). You will never feel that peace deep in your soul. You will miss out on true living! There’s something so freeing about knowing that God is in control. All you have to do is obey. Know that this trial, this season of sadness and difficulty will bring glory to His name!
To those going through a hard time or maybe who just seem to have lost their joy somewhere along this journey. Know that when we know who we are in Him, when we secure ourselves in His name, when we plant ourselves firmly on the foundation of His promises, He will give you a deeper joy than you’ve ever known. He will give you an outlook of positivity because He works all things to the good of those that trust in Him (Romans 8:28)!
So, where do you find your happiness? Is it your job? Financial security? Your husband or kids? Maybe even money or things?
OR is it in Christ Almighty? Do you have that deep-rooted Joy that penetrates your heart (Habakkuk 3:17-18)? My prayer is that you find it! My prayer is that you allow Christ to be the center of your life and His joy to be the filter through which you live.