The verse I am choosing this time is:
Lately, I've been doing some thinking about joy and what it means to be joyful. I think it definitely involves happiness and peace and gladness, but joy goes deeper than that. Also, joy is not dependent on circumstances. Sometimes we might think that we can't be joyful because everything around us is crashing in or falling apart, but that's not the case. We don't have to be jumping up and down or celebrating when hard things happen, but it doesn't mean we can't have joy."A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken."Proverbs 15:13, NASB
I have learned (and am still learning), that my joy comes from the Lord. It not only comes from Him, but my joy is in the Lord. I can be anxious or sad or feeling lonely, but if I turn my focus to Christ, He helps me to remember that He gives me joy (along with many other blessings).
Joy is not something I can conjure up on my own. It has to come from the Lord, by His Spirit. I can ask for more joy, as well as the other fruit of the Spirit (love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control) and He will give it freely and fully.
Joy comes from a thankful heart. I can choose to focus inwardly and dwell on things that are not right in my life or in the world, or I can choose to find things to be thankful for and to even thank God for the hard things. When I am able to do that, I find that my heart can't help but be joyful.
I don't want to come across as trite or uncaring about things that people go through that are very hard and sad. I've experienced grief and sadness and there are seasons when our hearts are just broken and sad. My prayer is to have a truly joyful heart that makes my face cheerful. I want to have a joy that flows out of my heart and onto others and that reminds them of the source of all joy.