I love the constant reminders of having joy in our lives no matter our circumstance while reading in the book of the Bible Philippians this summer with my church (Indian Creek Community Church in Olathe, KS). Joy and happiness are not exclusive with one another. Happiness is a fleeting emotion. Of course it is completely normal to feel sadness in our life too, but joy. . . Joy is the state of our inner soul.
It is a way of living.
Reading about Paul who continued to have joy and be excited for all God was doing behind the scenes while being locked away in prison for simply doing what God told him to do, reminds me to live in a place of joy. Even through the tears you can be reminded of the good things in life and how much God loves us all. Having joy carries you through the hard times. It doesn’t cover up the tear streaked pillowcase or mean you should plaster a fake smile across your face. It is a peace within you and the wisdom to look at how God has taken care of you—even in the midst of pain, unfairness, grief.
That is how the beautiful, earth-shattering, other-worldly, never-ceasing joy arises within you. And I am so thankful I am able to cling to it daily.