Joy in Trials
This has been a year full of challenges and transition. If I am being totally transparent, this has been a year of disappointments, dead ends, and heartache. It seems like nothing has worked out the way I had imagined, hoped for, and even attempted. In a word, 2015 has been a year of trials. I feel like my faith in the Lord has been tested to the limits, and my patience as well. From disappointments in relationships, to moving four times, to closing my business and starting a “9-5”—trial after trial. Through this season, I have had to distinguish between happiness and joy. The world sells us happiness on a silver platter as though life owes us happiness. But when circumstances are bleak, happiness goes into hiding. But joy does not. Joy is one of the results of having Holy Spirit on our team. We literally possess joy always. Accessing it—there is the challenge.
Through this season, I have experienced moments when tears of sadness and anger stream down my face, but joy bursts from my heart at the same time. It’s not to say that anger, depression, and sadness are absent but that joy can still reign, even in the midst of negative emotions, circumstances, and experiences. I have learned to access my joy through worship and praise. For me, that usually looks like whispering love notes to God under my breath or thanking him for all of his glory and attributes.
Would you join me in winding down this year by unwrapping your joy? I want to encourage you to write out three things in your current situation that bring you joy. Something as small as your morning coffee or your favorite cozy blanket. Keep it simple, and you may be surprised how readily available your joy is. Or it could be simply putting on your favorite worship song on repeat in the background or slipping away on a five-minute break and thanking God for all of his goodness. There is power in the tongue, so speaking out praise is the most powerful way to shift your spirit. Focusing on trusting God fills our bodies with joy. And it also brings peace in the midst of storms.
May your last few days of this year be sprinkled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.