The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) John 10:10 (AMPC)
…and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy. Proverbs 16:20b (HCSB)
Surely there is not a day that goes by that we don’t hear about all the horrible things that happen to be going on in our nation and the world at large, not to mention the personal challenges we may be facing. If we are not mindful and careful, we can get so caught up in the “stuff” that we get discouraged and depressed. As “natural” humans, that’s considered normal. However, those of us who name the name of Jesus are no longer “natural” humans; we are spiritual and, thus, operate on a different plane.
Many times, even if we are not personally struggling, we take on the cares of this world and begin to wring our hands in worry or even despair. God never intended for us to live that way. We may not have all the answers, but God does, even if He doesn’t necessarily share them with us. The solution to not having all the answers is to simply Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5 CSB). God sees the big picture while we get caught up in the details. He can, as my husband always says, see around corners while we typically can only see what’s in front of us.
Sometimes, I think we just need to give ourselves permission to be happy and take pleasure in the little things. I wonder if some might think that if we allow ourselves to smile or find joy in the midst of difficulty, we must not really care. But here’s the thing: The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10, KJV). While going through tough times, it’s still important to maintain our joy because if the enemy can steal our joy, he can steal our strength; and we need all the strength we can get to be able to handle these attacks.
I’m fairly certain most everyone reading this post has experienced the loss of a loved one at some point your life. Adrian’s brother passed away last week, and although it was sad to see him go, we knew he was home with the Lord. That made the loss less painful. It brings to mind what Paul shared with the Church at Thessalonica, Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life] (1 Thessalonians 4:13, AMP).
I’ve seen it over and over again with the loss of a loved one or friend where people begin to recount memories they have of them and either smile or laugh out loud at some comical event regarding them. It never fails, even in sorrow we can always find something that brings a little joy to our hearts if we let Holy Spirit do His work. Jesus came to give us abundant life. We shouldn’t take that lightly. This earthly existence is not the end for us, so we should allow ourselves to experience joy in the midst of trouble, joy in the midst of heartache. Let’s look around and see the beauty of nature and smile.
Let’s remember some of the quirkiness of our friends and loved ones and laugh. At times, we might just need to watch a good ol’ comedy and remember that A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing… (Proverbs 17:22a, AMPC).
Let’s give ourselves permission to be happy, not because our circumstances are perfect but because we trust in the Lord. (Pam)