Do you ever wake up in the morning and see the sun shining through the windows and just get a sensation of happiness? Everything is just fresh and new. Yesterday is in the rear view, today is a new day! On your way to the all important coffee pot, you trip over something that someone in your household “forgot” to pick up. Next thing you know, that happiness turns into frustration and all the memories of the endless conversations about cleaning up after yourself come pouring into your mind. Now, frustration has turned into anger as you think to yourself, “they don’t even listen to me”. Then, the dog starts barking and wants to be fed immediately. You’re irritated at this point. Five minutes before this very moment, you were happy. Now you’re aggravated and what still is the very same day, looks different. It’s not that anything has changed, but you have allowed your circumstances to change you. Our feelings are fickle. They can turn on a dime.
We live in a world where everyone just wants to be “happy”. “Whatever makes you happy,” we’ll say to one another. “I just want my child to be happy,” parents say in regard to their children’s lives. Happy people are easy to be around. Being happy is a good thing but as we know, happiness is a feeling that can change at a moment’s notice. God created us with feelings. This is how we empathize with one another. We show sincerity with our emotions. Unfortunately, emotions are not always stable. They really can be all over the place. I love what the Psalmist says in the Bible. “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (Psalms 68:3 NIV) Notice this says “happy and joyful”? There is a clear distinction between the two. Happiness, which is wonderful, is based on circumstances. Everything is fitting together correctly producing this wonderful feeling. Joy, on the other hand, is not based on circumstances. Joy, according to the dictionary, is a source or cause of delight. This source and/or cause is Jesus!
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4 NKJV) This verse is implying that the source of our true, rock solid joy is The Lord. He’s unchanging. If He’s our true source of delight, He shall (future tense) give us our desires which ultimately bring a sensation of true happiness. Even though our heart’s desires may not have come to pass yet, our joy is in Jesus. He has all power to change the atmosphere. So, is it possible to go through a rough time in life and still have joy? Yes. He’s with us every step of our journey.
When dealing with hard situations, we’re often sad, frustrated, angry etc. The circumstances can certainly seem to be swallowing us up. We’re not happy about this. “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV) Joy is this deep satisfaction in knowing you’ve placed your hopes, dreams and very life on Jesus. Joy brings the “knowing” that there is safety. It’s not found in the circumstances. Joy is based on the source of The One we take refuge in and has the power to actually do something about the circumstances. We can be in a state of sadness and get a glimmer of hope because God has placed His joy inside of us. Our true hope in Him and the understanding that He is giving us supernatural strength is our joy. Again, we may not be happy at the moment, but that joy is inside of us. Joy is a very certain confidence. “Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.” (Psalms 144:15 NLT)
We most certainly live in a world where things are out of our control. One minute we’re up, the next minute we’re down. Life’s situations are as unstable as the waves during a hurricane. We no more have the ability in and of ourselves to control anything. It’s so wonderful to know The One who does. We place our hope in Him. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT) This is the confidence that we need to operate in when life happens. God knew we needed rock solid facts when we have fickle feelings.
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.