Joy in The Valley

Have you ever been in a circumstance in your life where it has been difficult for you to be joyful? Perhaps life just isn’t going your way, or any way for that matter. You experience bits and pieces of happiness, but then go right back to your depressed, unpleasant, unhappy state. You say to yourself,

“Maybe if I go here” …
“Maybe if I do this” …
“Maybe if I do that” …

to no real avail. You know, it’s interesting how we sometimes believe that if we fill our lives up with things that make us happy then we will never have to feel any hurt or experience any sort of pain, it seems too easy right?

Imagine your starring up this massive mountain and at the top are these fluffy white clouds and at the bottom where you are currently standing, is filled with thorns, thistles and other wicked things. Somewhere along the line during your contemplation on how to get to the top of that mountain someone told you that “all you have to do is put things that make you happy in your life and you can be on top of that mountain!” The problem with this is that’s exactly what you’ve been doing ever since you figured that the mountain top was even reachable! So, what is the answer then? If not happiness then what is it? What should I be seeking?

First, we must realize that where we are at may be a place where God wants to teach us something. James 1:2-4 says,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Trust and know that God is working on you, even in the valley, don’t let yourself or your happiness get in the way.

Happiness is temporary where joy is eternal

Second, happiness is temporary where joy is eternal. We can watch movies, go on walks, hang out with friends, drink, drive, and do whatever makes us happy, but at the end of the day, the happiness never lasts. Joy is what God puts inside you and wants you to be able to experience. Romans 15:13 says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I love the song You Are My Joy by Will Reagan as it is a simple song that proclaims God’s goodness and work that he does in our lives. My favorite lyrics are in the verse where it goes:

“I can feel you lifting off,
The weight of the world,
I can feel you lifting off,
The weight of the world,
I can feel you lifting off,
The weight of the world,
I can feel you lifting off,
The weight of the world,”

Give it a listen!