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Joy In All Things

I read something about Paul and Silas, and the author said that while they were in prison, sitting at rock bottom, they let God be their rock. They praised the Lord and were filled with joy.

Have you ever felt like you were at rock bottom or low? There have been two times in my life when I felt emotionally low, just so down, not feeling like myself, depressed, and uncertain.

James 1:2 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”

When I was feeling low, I can tell you that the joy in my heart seemed gone. To be joyful in all opportunities was not something I wanted to hear, but I did try. I was just trying to do it on my own. I realized that wasn't really going to work and things needed to change, and both times, things did change. I was able to find joy again with the help of others and through God.

The second time I found my joy again will be a time I never forget because the release and change were so significant for me. I know God was in it. Others saw it too and told me I looked happy. I knew that God had made big changes and I let them know what God had done in me. Truly, the joy of the Lord was my strength.

I like to sit outside and take in nature—all of God’s creation. When I am feeling a certain way and my emotions seem to be acting out more than I would like, there is something about sitting outside and reconnecting with God that brings me back around and changes my perspective. When seeing and hearing what God has done, I feel joy and happiness because I remember that He also created me.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

We are able to see the joy in all things by seeing it through the perspective of the Lord.

We seem to root our happiness in our circumstances. It comes easily for us to attach our joy to the stuff of life. We are happiest when things are going well; we are saddest when things are going badly. Our mood is determined by the up-and-down roller coaster of life’s ever-changing circumstances. But our joy should be in Jesus, not in our circumstances.

Romans 5:3-5 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

The joy of hope is intensified when our faith endures through trouble. The best way for us to have the joy of the Lord is to form the habit of finding God everywhere there is goodness in this world.

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