I need to start using the word ‘joyful’ more. I mean… I can talk about feeling ‘happy.’ I can say that being with my sweethearts makes me ‘happy’ but sometimes it doesn’t? Sometimes things are hard. Sometimes when I’m with them we have to tackle some really tough things and it’s not any fun whatsoever.
But still, even when things are full of hardship and pain having a deep friend I can rely on and be close to is a good thing and making it through a difficult time in our life together gives a sense of wholeness and… joy.
So yeah… Joyful. I think I need to start using it more often.
It is not who you love, it is how you love, why you love and what makes you love. It is what makes you feel like the world could cave in and your heart would be consistent. It is how you could stay strong in a moment of fear to keep another warm, to keep yourself pushing forward. It is why you are happy, why everything is ok and why you believe in a better world. Don’t let anyone define your love. Your love cannot be defined by another's unreliable source of a mind, your love is yours, and only yours, to confide.
You’ve heard this before.
We all have - in every situation, in every circumstance, in every moment… “but are you happy?”
That is a very dangerous question, my friend.
Because sometimes we aren’t happy.
Sometimes life is hard.
Sometimes we get ignored.
Sometimes our situations suck.
Sometimes the chemicals in our brains betray us.
Sometimes things just don’t go our way.
Sometimes we just can’t find something to be happy about.
Sometimes, even when everything is going right, happiness just isn’t in our reach.
Because happiness relies on circumstances, chemicals, situations, people… happiness depends on things that should not be depended on.
“But are you joyful?” might fit the bill a little better.
Joy does not rely on circumstances. It does not rely on situations and people and the way things are going in our lives.
Joy does not require good happenings and luck that always prevails.
Joy only needs a spirit and a soul.
Happiness comes from the world, joy comes from the Lord.
Like faith, it is rooted deep in our fickle little hearts.
When everything is going wrong, happiness hides. Joy stays steadfast, reaching arms out for comfort and strength.
Because happiness requires us to depend on us - joyfulness requires us to depend on God.
Remain joyful in your endeavors, my friend. Things are hard and life is difficult and people are mean… but God is good and He gives you the strength you need.
Trust that He will provide you with what you need (and what you seek) and cling to that trust. Tuck your joy deep inside of you, and allow it to stay and take root.
Nurture it. Care for it. Never let it stop growing. Never let yourself lose sight of it.
Keep it with you.
You’ll need it in the hard times.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3
As a chapter ends once more you must be reminded of the falls and the triumphs. No story is complete without the mountains and the black ice. The inevitable struggles and the things that shock us to the core, but we pull through. Would you look at yourself surviving once more, you can achieve greatness.