I have my alarm set for 4 am, my eyeglasses broke, and I’m staring at a blank screen. As I go to cry on my husband’s shoulder, he reminds me that I’m doing all the things I love. “You’re taking it all too seriously, and you need to put the fun back into it all!” Am I the only one who sucks the joy out of the good things? I’m excited to work on certification for personal training, I’m excited about the writing projects I have lined up, and I’m excited about the progress I’m making towards my goals. With all of these wonderful things happening, why aren’t I having fun? I tend to be a serious person. I overthink everything. Overthinking doesn’t solve problems. It creates stress and fuels our anxiety. As we go through our lives, how do we find joy in every season?
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NLT
We are encouraged in this letter from Paul to “always be joyful.” Always be joyful? How do we do that in the midst of a pandemic that shows no signs of letting up around the world? I received this in an email from the US Embassy:
Travel Advisory Level 4: Do not travel to Belize due to COVID-19.
As we go about our daily lives here in Belize, we know that the virus is present. Because of the virus, someone I love deeply suffered the loss of a childhood friend of hers. So, among all the loss and heartache, where is the joy in this season of life?
Where is the Joy?
Our joy, our hope, our reasons to keep moving forward are found in Christ. Christ can comfort us, give us His strength to empower our joy, and lift our heads to see the brighter days ahead.
Let’s hold on to God’s word and not overthink, overanalyze, or fill ourselves with dread. We can be realistic and still have hope.
- First, we need to stop worrying and pray. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. (Phil 4:6)
- Second, we need to fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. (Phil 4:8)
- Third, we need to allow God to show us the way of life, granting us the joy of His presence. (Psalm 16:11)
- And finally, we need to remember that those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. (Psalm 126:5)
Things may be hard right now. Relax, take a deep, cleansing breath. As you breathe in His joy, may your lungs expand with His peace. But, as long as we have breath, our stories are not over yet. God will take care of us tomorrow. We may not feel joyful at this moment, but we have Him as our JOY in every season. Trust, believe, and rejoice in that fact!
Stop for a moment and think of your to-do list, your concerns, your griefs. Turn that list into prayer. Make a note of what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, or admirable in your life.
God, we are grateful that You are the lifter of our heads. Your word says that Your joy is our strength. Could you help us to walk in that strength? Help us to give You all of our have-to, what-if, and why thoughts. We look to You to take care of us, guide us, and shelter us throughout this season. You are our joy! And we put our trust in You! In Jesus’ name. Amen.