I know I’ve been focusing a lot on the topic of joy recently.
You would think that I’d be a joyful person all the time (hello, joy is part of my name!) but honestly, I’m not.
(Perhaps I’m simply rehashing everything I’ve been saying for the past couple of weeks. Sometimes, I just need to write things that teach me, because I’m far from perfect or complete!)
A few days ago, I got into a terrible funk where I was moody and depressed for a few hours. Why? I have no idea why. I wrote in my journal to get out of it, and realized that no part of my writing had anything to do with joy in it.
But wait, we don’t have to be happy all the time, do we?
No. Nowhere does it say that we have to be happy all the time. Why? Because happiness is dependent on circumstances – and circumstances are never 100% perfect.
True to my blog’s name, I’m going to share a journal page snippet with all of you.
“Wow, I just read what I wrote earlier. It sounds so dark and hopeless. But it’s not. If I can’t find joy in the mundane, I’m making my joy circumstantial. A horrible decision, really. Life is really okay. Even when it doesn’t feel like it. My joy should come from Jesus, and not from accomplishments or possessions or circumstances. No, it’s never easy or pain-free. But I will make it through. For this isn’t the end.”
Joy is always possible because hope is always always available.
I started to get fed up with my mundane life in which I do practically the same exact thing every single day. I wake up, I do school, I go to karate (or at least practice it), I read and/or watch TV, I write, I go to bed. EVERY SINGLE DAY. (Maybe a little exaggeration there, but I think you get the point.)
I veer toward the side of believing that joy comes from great things that God gives us. Like: opportunities. books. money. friends. freedom.
Joy isn’t happiness. Joy is a life choice and lifestyle. I recently read an amazing blog post about marriage and it talked about making the mundane and ordinary days just as wonderful as the particularly romantic parts. It struck a chord with me, because I often forget that same concept in my daily life.
For me at least, I tend to find “joy” when things go my way, or I’m happy. But that’s not joy.
Joy comes from hope.
Hope is knowing that I’m never alone.
It comes from gratitude.
I am so thankful for my salvation because I am so undeserving of it.
I have joy because I am blessed down to my soul. I am loved and treasured and I belong to my Creator.
This has nothing to do with happiness, because it’s an attitude.
I still have my days where I feel like I’m in darkness, but we all do. It’s absolutely impossible to be always happy.
But we can always put on the attitude of joy. Joy is substantial because its foundation is on hope. This hope isn’t wishful thinking, but assurance.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
When life is mundane and difficult, joy is possible because we have assurance that faith in God – the only solid foundation – will never fail us. Our souls are saved and secure. We are loved. We were bought with a high price. We are new creations.
Life is hard. Yeah.
But it isn’t the end, nor should we let it be.
Joy is beautiful. Joy is possible, even when it’s impossible to be happy. Joy is amazing, because no matter what, we can find it because of what Jesus has done for us.
That’s where we find joy.