“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
Ever feel like it is SO hard to find joy when life is heavy and hard? Sometimes it is even easy to just fall into believing that finding joy isn’t possible when circumstances aren’t ideal. Our minds also tend to find it conflicting to feel joy and heartache at the same time. Ever felt any of these ways before? SAME. You are not alone.
I want to tell you that it IS possible to find joy through difficult times. I’m not saying though to find why your hard circumstance should be or could be joyful, that isn’t what I am getting at. I am getting at finding joy in the other little things in your life that are happening alongside the hard thing. Like I have said before, joy and hardships have to co-exist. In order for us to know joy, we have to know pain (dang it – am I right!?)
I can’t tell you why hard things happen. I don’t feel like that is my place & don’t think anyone can really take on a “correct” answer to that one. But I can tell you that joy surrounds us everyday. His joy surrounds us everyday.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
So you may be thinking: How do I start? How can I even attempt to feel joy when I feel so sad? I don’t even want to feel joyful right now, why would I try? I don’t want to discredit my feelings of sorrow, why would I want to mask it with joy?
Let’s dive deeper:
- Thankfulness. There are SO many little things in our life we can be thankful for. As we say little thoughts of thankfulness in our mind. We can find joy in those things we are thankful for. For example, when I am personally going through a hard time, I speak words of thankfulness as I go for a walk. I thank God for the fresh crisp air, for the singing of the birds, for the bright flowers I pass by, for the laughter of a child in the distance. As I think of these little things that make me smile and feel good, I see the joy in God’s creation.
- Serving. Joy always shows up when we put ourselves aside and serve the needs of others. This can look like showing up for a friend who is in need, donating to a good cause, picking up trash, doing some type of service that serves others.
- Do not discredit your feelings. We HAVE to remind ourselves that our feelings matter. We need to let ourselves feel things as they come up. We must remember that hard feelings and great feelings CAN exist together. It is okay to feel joy when you are going through something hard. It is okay to feel sad and upset when something exciting is happening. Remember that they CAN exist together.
- In His presence there is fullness of JOY. Spend time with Jesus and think about His character. Tell Him what you are upset about. Tell Him what you are feeling. He is listening & He already knows how you feel. Read scripture. Listen to worship music. Meditate in silence. Sit in His presence and He will fill you with true joy. He wants to show you what true joy in Him is.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:9-12
Find the joy today,