It can be hard to find the joy in our current circumstances.
It’s been a year since “covid, pandemic, canceled, 2020, etc.” have become a part of our everyday vocabulary.
Everyone has been affected in some way. Everyone has dealt with a type of loss this last year.
We can point fingers at each other of who is right and who is wrong, but we can agree that this year we all have been through the ringer.
Even as things are changing, it can be hard to find joy.
It can feel as if we are being tugged back and forth of not knowing how to feel. Social Media says to "feel" or "post" this. The media tells us to pick a side.
I’ll be honest, it can become so overwhelming we can lose our joy.
I had struggled with depression in the past as a Christian and this last year it was a battle to fight for joy.
However, God reminds us that our joy is not based on our current situation.
Our JOY is in HIM.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
Then why is it so hard to seek joy? Have we complicated what joy looks like or have we replaced it with our circumstances, our wants, our desires, and not in Him.
When our eyes are so fixated on the problem or trying to get out of a situation, we’re missing the joy God wants to show us in it.
Or maybe you feel defeated. You’re tired, and just feel hopeless. Trial after trial you are fighting and clinging on day by day.
There is no shame or condemnation in this. The Lord is kind and gracious when we feel at the end of ourselves. He is a patient and a loving Father who is with you and He will show you there is still joy.
When I had wrestled with depression I felt isolated and so alone.
The enemy wants us to believe that we can’t seek help or there is no way to find joy in Christ.
The Lord revealed to me the joy in Him and I had victory.
However, this last year it was another battle to seek JOY.
There were days I was defeated and I could barely cry out to the Lord. And there were times I was so unsatisfied in Him because my focus was on my circumstances that there was no joy to be found.
The Lord heard my cries and He revealed that everything that was going on was not in vain, but He also revealed joy is not an emotion.
Joy is a state of living.
“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:22
Joy is not based on our circumstances, our relationship status, our jobs, our world, we can keep adding to this list.
Again, our Joy is in HIM.
When we know who our God is, like really know Him, verses like Habakkuk 3:18-19 come to mind:
“yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3:18-19
These aren’t just words. These are anthems.
They are declarations. It speaks life to our weary, tired, and unsatisfied souls.
Hebrews 12:2 - "it was the JOY set before Jesus to go to the cross for us so we could have life and the fullness of Joy in Him."
1 Peter 1:3-6 - "Even in trial and tribulation we can rejoice because we know who our God is."
Romans 15:13 - "He is the God of Hope who will bring joy."
I know this year has been hard. I know it can feel hopeless and hard to find joy right now, but keep running to Jesus.
Ask the Holy Spirit what that looks like in this season. Ask Him to draw you deeper to the Father because HE WILL.
He’s with you. He sees you. He loves you.
Don’t let the enemy rob you or fool you to seek a safe space with the body of Christ.
We aren’t perfect, but God has placed people in your life to fight for joy together.
We were not meant to be isolated, separated, or alone. We are meant to come together to declare that Jesus has come to give us the fullness of life and joy in HIM.
This world is not our home because our home is with HIM.
~ Sarah Sendejas