Today’s post is by Cath Hetherington. Cath is one of the most authentically upbeat people you will ever meet. Her writing can instantly lift your spirits. You can connect with her on Twitter @cathloves or at her personal blog here.
I love joy, but that wasn’t always the case. And the more I think on it, the more I see that the obvious is true; that during the difficult chapters of our lives, we aren’t naturally joyful. But why?
Well, the automatic response is that joy and hardship are incompatible.
But, please excuse my British parlance here, that is bonkers. And false.
I believe that we think joy is often inappropriate. It’s inappropriate to have joy when your relative is sick, inappropriate to seek joy in a job you hate, inappropriate to be joyful when life is hard. And trust me, I understand this line of thinking because for so long that was my thinking.
Until I read, REALLY read, this verse.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
When in the thick of what I like to call the tough times, I have never accused patience or love of being inappropriate. I have never thought that kindness or goodness have no place in the tough times. So why do we think that about joy?
Why is joy inappropriate?
Brace yourselves, here comes the shocker, its not. Its just not. I’m not belittling the difficult times, nor am I asking you to claim they are good, but there is a reason that we are told to “rejoice always”.
Such a beautiful reason; that stems from a beautiful truth—even on the worst day, Jesus died for you.
Even on the worst day, the maker of the universe loved you enough to humble himself to death on a cross. Even on the worst day, God has given you cause to look up from your situation and see that He has it under control, because you are His.
And there we find joy. Perfectly appropriate joy. In abundance.
What is something you are joyful about today?