Sin also robs us of joy. One of my own heart’s fondest desires is to live at all times in the joy of the Lord. I long for it so much that if I find it missing, I cannot waste a moment until I have it back again.
Many times that means getting on my knees in repentance. Sometimes it is pouring out my broken heart to God, other times it is simply refocusing my thoughts on Jesus. Even in the midst of broken promises and feeling unloved, when I consider where my hope lies, I can be joyful.
If the Apostle Paul could praise God and hold fast to his joy while in chains, how can we who are free, do any less? Paul’s thoughts were not of himself and his own suffering. He focused on telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had things in perspective. His priorities were right with God.
Joy is not necessarily a feeling of happiness, though at times it can be. It is a deep assurance that no matter the situation at hand, we have much to look forward to. No matter the storms that surround us, we know that we are children of God and that He loves and cares for us. We can get excited when we think of all He has waiting for us in our Heavenly Home. How can we help but be joyful if we place our hope in Him and take our eyes off the things of the world.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1: 2-4)