So many of us spend our lives searching for elusive happiness and are dependent on our emotions and circumstances.
Joy, however, is available and dependent on our eternal salvation and relationship with God.
I loved the quote Cindy stated in last year’s study Thrive, that “The greatest source of joy to a believer is that our eternal salvation comes from God even though we do not physically see Him.”
Recently “my joy “ was tested. My mother's death was the catalyst that encouraged me to reflect and become aware that my source of joy is my relationship with my Father.
So how does one find joy during trials and tribulations?
● God is our Source of joy
My mother passed away recently with my sister and me by her side. She had dementia- a devastating disease that robbed her of her recent memories.
Every day my sister and I would visit her in the nursing home. Every day she would ask us where our dad was and why she was in the hospital. My dad had died five years ago. She would remind us that she “wanted to go home.”
At first, it was difficult seeing her like this. Then, I started praying and renewing my mind on how God sees my mom. I was able to remember the joy of being her daughter and not just her caregiver.
God was my strength.
Some days were more challenging than others. My sister and I leaned on each other, and Jesus gave us exactly what we needed when we needed it.
2 Corinthians 1:5 says, “For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must].”
I saw my joy and my hope come to us in her room the day she died. You see, my most significant source of joy was not whether or not my mother could remember eight out of ten things on a “good day.”
It was when I said, Mom, Angie, and I are OK, go find dad. Jesus is waiting for you. Mom took one last breath and went into Jesus’ arms. I am not sure what she saw-but I am confident that she left in the arms of Jesus to find my dad.
She knew the source of her joy- her Savior, Jesus Christ. My sister and I found joy knowing that she was with her Saviour and finally, with the love of her life, our dad.
2 Corinthians 6:10 says, “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
● Our Joy will give us Strength
Joy is holy, pure, and produced by the Holy Spirit that lives in us. This kind of joy looks beyond our present to our future salvation.
Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
My husband and I experienced two miscarriages and a failed adoption. As we both drew closer to the Lord through this experience, so did our relationship with each other.
We trusted God to see us through this season. We asked God to show us HIS desires for our future and to change our desires to His.
Our joy in our Lord and His plans for our lives kept us out of despair. You see, we both knew without a doubt that God had a plan for us.
We had to trust Him.
I remember praying that we would have peace and confidence that God was in control of whatever His plan was. Happiness was found the day we held our healthy son in our arms.
Like the song, EVEN IF, by Mercy Me states:
I know You’re able, and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
It is well with my soul
● Joy is meant to be Shared
Recently I remembered a song we used to sing, “This Little Light of Mine.” I thought about joy as a light.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, we (believers)are like broken jars of clay who have God’s radiant, joy-filled light shining through the cracks, reaching out to others.
You see, God uses our trials and tribulations through life as proof that we must lean into Him and trust Him. Then, when we come out on the other side, we learn to persevere and to delight in His joy for us. It is a gift from God.
Our joy is contagious. It will never leave us. Don’t put your joy under a bushel.
In Mark 4:21-22, Jesus explains the parable of the sower, “And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel or a bed? And not to be put on a candlestick?”
Joy is meant to be shared.
In times when we can’t find our joy, we learn with each time where to look. We turn our eyes to Heaven. We seek Him.
Psalm 16:11 states, “You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy.”
With every trial that we experience we learn to lean on our Father and trust Him. He is our source of joy. His joy in us will give us strength.
My prayer for us comes from Romans 15:13,
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you with joy and peace because you trust in Him.”
I encourage you to share on Facebook or in the comments below with us :
1. How do you share your joy every day?
2. In hard times, what are some ways that you find your joy?
3. Reflect on your own life and share how God supplied you with joy through difficult times.
Mary Dean Stone is one of Tapestry Of Beauty Ministries Senior leaders and teachers since 2019. She is married to a wonderful man of God Marv and together they have a son Billy. Mary's joy, compassion and love for God is contagious to all those that are around her.
Thank you for sharing your openness with us and may many hearts be healed by your testimonies and teachings.