Read: John 16:17-24
You now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. --John 16:22
You may be familiar with the list of seven deadly sins that was formulated during the sixth century: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, vengeance, envy, and pride. But you may not know that the original list compiled during the fourth century also included the sin of sadness. Over the years, that emotion was omitted from the inventory.
Some people are blessed with a cheerful disposition. They always seem to be happy. They wear a perpetual smile almost as if they were advertising toothpaste. But then there are others who seem to be chronically sad. They continually complain about life and its burdens. And who can deny that afflictions are discouraging?
While we acknowledge that not everybody is blessed with a bright outlook on life, we need to remember that joy is one of the gifts Jesus promised to His followers. And we need to resist any tendency to let sadness dominate our emotional lives.
Jesus promised His disciples on the night Judas betrayed Him, "Your joy no one will take from you" (John 16:22). Remember that joy is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Let's ask the Lord to help us look beyond our sorrowful circumstances and encourage our hearts by the vision of joy that awaits us (Heb. 12:2). --Vernon Grounds
You alone, Lord Jesus, can true joy impart,
For You know the sorrow of the human heart;
You came here from glory that heart to win
And in love for sinners suffered once for sin. --Anon.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that's always in season.
The Lord didn't bless me with a "cheery disposition." In fact, I've been called a pessimist more times than I care to think of. Personally, I see myself as more of a realist. You know, someone who KNOWS how bad things can go, and while hoping for the best, still prepares for the worst.
One of the many things God has blessed me with is the ability to pull myself of by my boot-straps, dust myself off, and to keep on going. I know that all things happen for a reason, though a whole lot of things are outside my range of understanding. And it's by faith that I look for the best in not only all situations, but in all people.
I know that being sad not only is a huge drain on me emotionally, but it definitely takes it's toll on me physically. When I'm sad, my health goes down hill quickly. So, on the days that my Fibro, Arthritis, and Lupus are all vying for rule over my body I slow way down and start counting my blessings.
1) When the muscles burn and the joints grind when I walk, I thank God I still can. And I thank Him extra hard when I can leave my cane (as pretty as it may be) leaning out of reach.
2) When I'm exhausted because I haven't slept from tossing and turning, I thank God that I'm already awake to see another sunrise over a brand new day.
3) When I have to take multitudes of medications, I thank God that I'm able to get those meds that really do help.
4) When my eyes won't quite focus, or they sting like crazy, I thank God that I haven't lost my sight again.
5) When money's extra tight because I can't go to work, I thank God that He has provided enough to keep a roof over my head, heat in my home, and water to bathe with. I thank Him extra hard for the blessing of my Mother who is glad to help and even more glad that she can.
The list goes on and on. Every hardship has a blessing in it. Sometimes they may be harder to find, but they are there. Today, I thank Him again for not only those things above, but also for this library computer that allows me to reach out and share His word and my thoughts. And I thank Him for SparkPeople, because I can know there are others who struggle and overcome every minute of every day, just as I do.
If you can't be happy today, it's ok. Just have faith that you will be again and know that someone is praying for you. God bless and take care!