While my own life is pretty good at the moment, I know several people who are in very hard circumstances. Are there are also times where things happen in my own life that get me down.
Joy has been a big topic that my friends and I have been talking about lately, and once of us voiced this question the other day: “People tell me all the time to be grateful for [the good things in my life], and I am, but that doesn’t change that right now my life is hard.”
And I totally get it. Often when hard things are happening, people try and tell you to be thankful, trust God, and kind of imply that you can just stop being sad and feel happy again.
But that doesn’t work. Sadness can be a valid emotion. To steal a line from John Green, “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
But I also know that God tell us to ‘rejoice’ in Him.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:4-9 NIV
So how do you rejoice, while experiencing grief and pain?
I used BibleGateway.com to search for the word ‘rejoice’ in the New Testament. And scanning through the results, I noticed a trend.
Many of the times the word is used, it’s telling people to rejoice because of our hope in an eternity with God.
And I think that’s the balance. It’s possible to feel sad, and yet have thankfulness and hope because of the eternity God has planned for us.
I also asked my friend Daisy her thoughts on the subject, as her life has been extremely difficult, yet she faces each day with joy.
She said that when she’s struggling for joy, she spends a lot of time reading the Bible – even hours – because, “It reminds me that I am His”.
She also makes a conscious effort to praise Him for the salvation and love that He offers.
What about you? How do you seek joy in the midst of grief? Share your thoughts below!