On Finding True Joy: and how God is so much bigger than circumstances

Monday, June 4, 2018

I think that all of us want to live a happy life. Even in our United States Constitution it states that one of our "unalienable rights" is "the pursuit of happiness". It's been around since the founding of our nation, that we have a right to pursue happiness.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." ~ Psalms 30:5 kjv
But there's something that makes me not want just happiness.

Being happy is a great feeling, isn't it? When everything is going right how you planned it, and life just couldn't be better, it's easy to be happy.

Because happiness is often based on our situation in life. If everything is going well, we're happy. The job is great, the kids are behaving, and we're getting along with everyone we know. It's based on a feeling. A feeling that is derived from our situation.

But what happens when the job isn't the best, the kids are a mess, and there's conflict in relationships? Our happiness scampers away, because it was based in something that is easily changed.

And that's the fatal flaw of happiness, it's based in the wrong things.
Is it wrong to be happy? Of course not! But I'm finding more and more that it is not what I should be pursuing after. Happiness seeks the perfect environment to receive the perfect feeling.

Joy, on the other hand, is rooted more in a choice. Happiness is a feeling. We cannot always choose what our feelings are, which is why it's hard to choose happiness. If the feeling is not there, we're merely pretending that we're happy - we're really not happy.

Joy is something that we don't get from our circumstances or our feelings. Joy flows out of our communion with God and it is something that only God can give us.

Joy implies faith: because we trust that God has a plan and that He knows what He's doing, we can have peace and joy in knowing that.

Even when life throws a curve-ball, and nothing turns out the way we thought it would, we can still be joyful, because God is the One Who is in control.
Ultimately, true joy finds it's basis in hope. And not just any sort of everyday hope, but the "hope [that] maketh not ashamed" (Romans 5:5 kjv).

We can have joy; whether we're in the midst of a trial or we're in a good place.

In the Bible, God says that He will work out every situation for our good.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 kjv
Every situation. The good ones and the bad ones. He may not work it out the way we think He should, but ultimately He's the One Who knows what's best for us.

Let's focus on what God is doing in a situation, instead of only on the situation itself. Because God is so much bigger than the circumstances that we encounter every day.

Do you find yourself being joyful in the everyday, the mundane, and the hard? It's only possible with God's strength and a proper focus.
There are so many things to be joyful about! 
Tell me something that gives you joy in the comments :)


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