Scripture tells us that “The joy of the Lord is [our] strength,” and “ Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice” (Neh. 8:10 and Phil. 4:4). The natural question I think we all ask is, “How can I always rejoice when I am going through hardship? How can I have God’s joy as my strength when I feel anxious and stressed or fearful about certain difficulties in my life?”
The answer is: Rest in God’s love for you. Know that as you lay your problem at His feet, His great love for you will bring you through. His love for you causes Him to hold you in the palm of His hand. When you are sure of His love for you, you can know that He will bring the perfect outworking of your situation. Take joy in knowing that a God bigger than you, bigger than your mountain, is leading you and holding you. This is true whether or not the mess you are facing is of your own doing or not. Most messes in which we find ourselves, truth be told, result from our own choices. Take heart. God is bigger than your wrong choices and bigger than the injustices of this world.
If your situation is from your own mistakes, intentional or not, repent; seek God’s forgiveness, and He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us (1 Jn. 1:9), and that is immediately, not next year, or next week, or tomorrow, but the moment we ask.
Isaiah 49:13, 16 (speaking about the restoration of Israel) says: “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. . . .See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” As God is the Restorer, you can rest assured that His love and mercy extend to your situation.
As we humble ourselves within the love of God, we can rest knowing He has our best interest at heart. He brings blessing to our lives. He makes beauty out of ashes. He gives us joy in place of mourning. He replaces heaviness with praise (Isa. 62:3). Does this mean you will never go through tribulation? No. Jesus said we would have trouble in this world (Jn. 16:33), but the key word there is “world.” That very same verse goes on to say that we find peace (which is also joy) in Christ because He has overcome the world on our behalf.
So, my dear friends, you will find God’s joy as your strength and be able to rejoice knowing that His love for you will help you overcome. God has not left us as orphans to struggle on our own. He has given us His precious Holy Spirit to help us, guide us, and live in us as His children, and as His children and followers of Christ, He will love us and show us the way (Jn. 14:15-21).
Commit every situation to Him, and His joy and peace will fill your heart. He will bring you wisdom. He will rebuke the enemy on your behalf. His joy will become your peace and strength.
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this: Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption. I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me.