Originally published Monday, 23 May 2016.
No doubt, there are so many things that can try to rob us of our joy. Tough circumstances, broken relationships, struggling finances, missed deadlines or opportunities, being late for something, kid issues, marital problems, the loss of a loved one, and the list could literally go on and on. But you, my dear sister, can have joy in the midst of it all. Let’s talk about how to keep it up when trying moments hit your life.
When challenging times strike, I know it’s tough to keep smiling when you feel like your world has just been turned upside down (even if it’s just for a few minutes). Trust me. I know. Keeping your joy up is NOT easy! I get it. But guess what, sis? God gets it even better. And He’s got a plan for it all.
A familiar, yet very life-changing passage of Scripture is found in James 1:2, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations;” Now, let me break this down into digestible pieces. When various things come at you, it’s an opportunity for great joy. Why?
Here’s the reason in James 1:3-4, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” God is doing a new work in your life, sis. He’s working the fruit of patience within you. He’s increasing your faith and building your endurance. He’s creating a fresh testimony that will help others grow in their faith by seeing how you handle life’s trying situations. Give thanks to God (as hard as this may be) and shout out a tough, “Hallelujah!”
Think about what Jesus did for a moment as a Christ-follower. Hebrews 12:2 says, “…because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Do you see the correlation? He had to be patient through the trial of the cross, he endured that hardship for us, He demonstrated great trust that His Father knew what He was doing ultimately, and now He has joy unspeakable joy, and the GREATEST testimony known to man! He counted it all JOY! And He wants you and I to do the same thing.
Listen. When your joy is low, you are going to have to fight to renew your mind and think about the bigger picture. You’ve got to tell yourself, “God knew this was going to happen today. We can get through this together.” And then pray, “Lord, help me to get everything that I need to get out of this one, please.” The Lord will NEVER do anything without a purpose for you and for others in mind. You can trust Him.
So, are you ready to get your joy up? I’ll tell you, knowing the truth that God is working this all out for your good, should make a HUGE difference. I pray that it does. But also let me give you this hopefully, helpful nugget. Keeping your joy up will consist of choosing to renew your mind. Yep! Do what Philippians 4:8 says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Think about these things and allow God’s word change your perspective.
Another thing. Don’t ponder on the negative or what you can’t change. Instead, focus on what you can change, which is your response to what’s happening. Choose to accept the reality, as hard as that may be, and fight for your joy. Continue to make a difference in the room. Be that godly example of God’s supernatural strength working through you. Be that woman of influence. And press to smile (even if all you want to do is run away and cry your eyes out). That’s okay too. Believe me!
I call them, steal away to Jesus moments. It’s that moment when you smile on your way to the bathroom, close the stall door, and cry out to Jesus. Let me tell you…it works! It’s that personal opportunity to just let Him know what you’re dealing with. That time to let Him know how hard this is for you. And then come back out ready to face whatever and whomever with joy, faith, endurance, and strength of character.
Now granted, it’s not that your circumstances have changed. Because they may not have changed. But you have. You have decided to not let the enemy, your circumstances, or other people steal your joy. You have decided to let God do His perfect work through the test or trial that you’re in. You have decided to let Him create a fresh testimony for others.
Let me also say this. This is not that you have to be superwoman, either. Because it’s totally okay to shed a few tears in front of others as you go through some tough things in your life. That’s a natural human reality. I know. I’ve been there. But we can’t stay there. That’s where James 1:2-4 kicks in to count it all joy.
God knows what He’s doing. You can trust Him to work things out. So let Him work. Allow Him to comfort you, heal you, or help you through your difficult situation. He can do this, sis! And you can keep your joy up! Try it.
I pray that this post has encouraged you in some way. If so, let me know how. In the meantime, I want to let you know that when you have joy (especially when others know that you’re going through a tough time), you will indirectly be a greater light and influence in their lives. They will want what you have which is Jesus and joy! With that being said, I want to offer my FREE eBook to you! It’s entitled, “The Influence of a Changed Woman.” There’s also a BONUS Study Guide that you can use for personal devotion or group Bible Study. DOWNLOAD it here: http://www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org/book and share it with other women you know! Thanks and enJOY!!!
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
*DON’T FORGET TO TELL OTHER WOMEN about Inside Out with Courtnaye. Invite your friends and family by sharing, tweeting, and hitting the “LIKE” button on my Facebook page! If you have any questions or need advice about something, feel free to email me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment to let me know how this post has helped you in some way. Thanks in advance and just know that Inside Out with Courtnaye is all about helping women grow stronger in their walk with Christ from the inside out (from the heart). Jesus is coming soon! Love you sis!