Updated: Sep 26, 2020
"TheLord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving." - Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
I consider myself an observer of people.
I can sense that someone is going through a difficult time or heavily burdened by something. I can see extreme happiness or know new relationships that have formed.
It’s God’s fault. He often puts things before me that I do not want to see or know.
A few years ago, I went on a retreat that left me with a lingering question: why am I not able to outwardly express the joy of Christ despite the challenges that are going on in my life?
For example, I’ve observed the positivity and joy that a girl at my church brings. She’s a bubble of happiness who effortlessly smiles, hugs, and loves those around her.
I must admit that at first, I thought, “Who can truly be that happy all the time?” Seriously, life has enough problems that cause you to frown (at least) once in a while.
So, what's her secret? How can she be that happy every time I see her? “Maybe she has a perfect life,” I thought to myself. I know that sounds crazy because no one's life is perfect, but her life must be close to it.
I had moments where I wished I could be that happy. I would say to myself, “Whatever she has, I want that too.”
But I learned something on the retreat that completely shattered my false thoughts and made me feel like I was hurting God by them. The happy girl at my church was not living the perfect life—she had problems just like everyone else.
So why was she able to keep a smile on her face during her struggles while I allowed them to overcome me? The answer, even though it was right in front of my face, was never clearer to me until God revealed it.
She had the love of God.
We all have access to the same love of God that the girl at my church does. The problem is that we often choose not to take hold of the power of joy that God freely gives us through his love.
We have the power to smile through the trials and tribulations in our lives because with God we can overcome them. God is bigger than our problems, not the other way around.
I sat in tears because I was ashamed of how I allowed situations in my life to overshadow the power of joy that God has given me. God is still joy when things don’t go your way, and He still loves you even when He says, “No” or “Wait."
That day, I decided I will no longer let my problems control my emotions. I decided that I will not be a slave to the negativity around me, but I will fight it with the joy of Christ given to me through His love.
I challenge you today to do the same. Put your trust in God, and He will give you unspeakable joy.
“Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.” - Psalm 86:4
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Do great things with God.