noun: a feeling or state of well-being and contentment
"Immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy..." 2 Corinthians 6:10
"Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness. Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you are lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love."
Adela Rogers St. Johns
What makes you happy? What makes you smile? It's fun to think about those things. Success, relief, good news-- all of these come wrapped up in happiness. Happiness just feels good.
But what about the days when we don't feel "happy?"
When sadness overwhelms, the answer is no, the results are not good...
When depression and discouragement weigh heavy on our hearts and we aren't even really sure why...
In the midst of disappointment, of heartbreak, of loss...how can we possibly experience joy?
Because of Jesus, we can...
Jesus offers us something that reaches deeper and lasts much longer than that happy feeling. He wants to give us real JOY. Contentment, well-being, heartwarming hope, and a deep breath of peace-- even when things aren't going well. Even when they're awful.
There is so much more than we can see right now. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this life is not all there is. Jesus is the only One who sees the big picture and knows the whole story. He can bring beauty from ashes, good from evil, life from death.
Jesus is right here with us. He can walk us through to the other side of whatever we are in the middle of. And if we will look to Him with open hearts and hands, He will surprise us with so much good along the way.
The joy He has for us transcends the deepest pain. It holds us steady and keeps us smiling in our hearts even when our eyes are filled with tears.
Let's invite Him in: Open your heart - even just a little crack. See if you can allow His joy to soothe where it hurts, calm your fears, and give you a glimpse of all that He has in store for you. It's okay to smile. Or not. He's got you. Let Him fill you with the deep joy that only He can give.