Today, I am blessed to have Elisabeth Klein, a sister Redbud writer, guest post here. She is sharing a piece from her Advent devotionals. May her words speak freshly into your soul.
I did not want to write today when I saw that the next topic on my list was joy. In fact, I closed the document and went on to do some other tasks and even went for a walk. Anything not to have to write about joy today. Because I am not feeling joyful.
And then I realized, neither are you, more than likely. So, perhaps, when I don’t feel joy is the perfect time to write about joy.
Because joy is not a feeling.
Joy is not based on a circumstance.
Joy is not the same as happiness.
Joy is a choice.
Joy can come in the middle of pain.
Joy can come in the middle of sadness.
Joy can come in the middle of weariness.
Joy comes in the morning.
Today, I am sad and confused. I am struggling to see hope in my future. I so wish this weren’t the case. I wish I were steadier in all things no matter what was going on around me. But this is my reality.
And today, I’m wondering what you are feeling, dear reader? Are you sad? Confused? Is hope evading you? Are your circumstances swirling? Are you unsteady?
Then these are the circumstances in which you are best able to lean into Jesus, which sets the foundation for joy seeping into your soul.
I am a believer that joy comes from gratitude. So, in the midst of your painful situation right now, I want you to pause, and thank Jesus for every single good thing in your life that you can think of, big and little. Nothing is too small to thank him for. He is our good-gift provider. I’ll start you off…
Jesus left heaven for you.
Jesus was born of a virgin for you.
Jesus lived a spotless life for you.
Jesus died on the cross for you.
Jesus came back to life for you.
Jesus hears you.
Jesus sees you.
Jesus holds you.
Jesus created you.
Jesus plans to redeem your pain.
Jesus loves you.
Jesus… (Keep going, sweet one…what else has Jesus done for you?)
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. –Psalm 30:5–
God, I am lacking joy today. But since you command it, it must be a choice. So today, I thank you for all of your goodness and faithfulness and intimate care. Help me choose joy in my pain. Help me lean into you. Amen.
If this post resonated with you, Holidays for the Hurting: 25 Devotions to Help You Heal would be your companion through this season.
Elisabeth Klein is the grateful wife to Richard and grateful mom and stepmom to five. She writes, speaks and mentors women in difficult marriages, those going through divorce, single moms, those dating post-divorce, and those who are remarried and stepmothers. You can find her at http://www.elisabethklein.com.