I want you to have joy. Considering the pandemic we've all lived through and the consequences, it may seem far-fetched for me to say such a thing. Friends and loved ones are still dying from COVID. Others are suffering from having had it. Yet others are still fearful of catching it.
The impact of COVID is tremendous for many: job loss, housing insecurities, food insecurities, and increased health issues. There is an unprecedented mental health crisis in this country as fear, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness take hold, frequently causing suicidal thoughts that have tragically resulted in young and old taking their own lives.
Joy in the Midst of Loss
Joy can be found in the midst, if you understand that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness is contingent on circumstances and may not be attainable in your given circumstances at the moment. Joy however, is birthed in your soul. Joy is not based on circumstances and cannot be taken from you, no matter how bleak things get. If you are a believer in Christ, there is always hope.
Look Up to Find Joy Stop looking around you at the circumstances. You must look to Jesus. He knows your every sorrow. He sees your pain. He understands, because He has been in your shoes. He knows what loneliness is, what grief is, what isolation feels like. He walked this earth and lived life as a man, and can empathize with your situation.
Read the Bible to Find Joy
Jeremiah 15:16 says "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty." As you read the Bible, your heart will be encouraged. Joy will flood your soul. Hundreds upon hundreds of promises are given, speaking of the goodness God has planned for you and the faithfulness to provide all of your needs and care for you. You don't have to be happy about the circumstances you are living in, but it is possible to have joy in the midst. The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Fellowship with Others to Find Joy
Philemon 1:7 says "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother have refreshed the heart of the Lord's people." We are not meant to stay isolated. We need each other. If you can attend church in person, I encourage you to do so. If not, live-streams are available all over the world. Getting together in person with at least one or two people during the pandemic is critical, staying socially distanced of course. We need each other. If possible, find an online or in-person Bible study to join. Get outside and walk with a fellow believer. Whatever means you choose, you must stay connected to other believers to maintain your joy.
I Pray You Find Joy
I cannot pray better than to quote Romans 15:13 "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."