Living in joy can be a struggle. Combine life’s trials and annoyances with my tendency to sometimes slip into depression brought on by trauma and my medical problems, and joy seems even further away.
Do you feel that way? From the big trials we face to the small everyday annoyances, sometimes it seems like someone is out to steal our joy — and in fact, someone is. Don't let him.
If we have accepted God’s gift of salvation, we’re called to live in joy, even when it’s hard. Rejoicing is the focus of Isaiah 35, and more than just rejoicing when things are easy, the chapter talks about rejoicing when things are difficult. Isaiah 35 preaches joy in the wilderness.
The key to having joy even in the wilderness is staying close to Jesus. We were meant to live in joy, but we were also meant to live in complete dependence upon Jesus. Staying close to Him is the key to finding joy so it will crown our heads and be visible to others.
And on the days when gladness and joy are a struggle, remember this: one day, we will feel nothing but these two emotions. Isaiah 35 is describing the future world that God is going to make. In that world, sorrow and sighing will flee away once and for all, and gladness and joy will overtake us as we go into the presence of our Lord. What a beautiful promise!
Lord, thank You for giving Jesus as my ransom. Help me to have gladness and joy today, and thank You that I will have them forever. Amen.
Go Deeper — Think about a wilderness you are currently experiencing in your own life. Commit to staying close to Jesus every day and ask Him for joy.
Read Further — Here is a great article about how one teacher turned her day around and chose joy. Why We Need Gray Days.
Photo Credit: Noe Araujo