Joy! That should be something really happy and exciting right? Something that makes you lift your hands in praise when things aren’t going well. When you’ve lost someone dear or a job you found security in. Joy! That makes you laugh when the economy is receding faster than your hairline when you’re aging. Joy! That makes you love those you know hate you. Joy! That makes your heart merry even when the night tarries. Joy!
For someone like me who deals a lot with depression, the concept of joy seems a tad forgotten. Why should I smile when the clouds are dark? Why should I be merry when my soul is anguished? Why should I make my smile rise when my heart doesn’t mirror it?
Simple; because we are commanded to rejoice always!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.- Phil 4:4
Aaargh! It feels like a lot of stress! I mean, there are just some days when staying in the pit is the safest place to hide. You know, just being coiled up in a little ball in my shell, secured from the troubles of this harsh world; like a little bird in its shell.
But for how long will you deprive the world of that smile that gives them hope? How long will you wallow in your misery that you miss out on someone who is actually grieving for something worth grieving?
I’ve come to realize the illusions that depression brings. For one, it makes you feel like you’re the only one facing tough times and NO ONE understands you. That’s such a big lie! Many have gone through worse and many more will! And guess what, they either came out alive and stronger or weakened and no more. It’s your choice hun. It’s ours to make. Please read more about this in the LTTD series, while we get back on course. 🙂
Believe me, joy can’t be easily found in the human nature. The body isn’t going to smile when going through fire. Try it out. Starve your body of food for a week and you’d know that not every ‘good’ morning is really good. You’d probably snap at people or just not be in the mood to smile. And that’s only food. What if you starve it of other things…? So yeah, joy isn’t easily found in the human nature.
Joy! This comes from God through His sweet Spirit. Joy in the Holy Ghost!
You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.- 1 Pet 1:8-9
It erupts from a transformed spirit and manifests through the soul and the body has to follow suit.
The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But a broken spirit who can bear?- Prov 18:14
A broken spirit, who can bear? It’s one thing to have your body broken and bruised, but your soul and spirit? Dude! You need the great physician to fix you up, because nothing else can mend you!
While I try to wrap this up, I need you to know that joy is attainable. That ability to genuinely smile when things are tough is possible. The ability to get off the emotional roller-coaster based on changing tides in the environment is possible through Christ who strengthens us! (Phil 4:13) And hey! This joy of the Lord, is our strength! (Neh 8:10)
I pray that you remain joyful this week regardless of the circumstances around you. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world! (1 John 4:4)