Joy is not a feeling. Joy is a response. I have been pushing myself to feel happy, pretending that everything is okay and that is not true joy.
I realized, a personal revelation of sorts, that joy is simply finding hope and security in Christ. We based our faith on our emotions, on what we don’t understand or can’t do and that cannot be further from the truth.
Only God is perfect. Even God has feelings. He gets angry, sad and happy. So why are we forcing ourselves to be happy all the time? Why are we being fake and manufacturing emotions that we don’t have,
True intimacy is formed in honest, open communication. Job, a righteous man that lost everything, went boldly before the Lord with ALL of his concerns. He was in anguish and pain. He lost his children, his money and even his health. His friends and his wife were not supportive but judged him. Job was alone.
The sign of maturity is feeling pain, confusion and anguish but running to God for answers. Job waited patiently for God to answer but he didn’t stop praying. Job prayed until he emptied out his heart.
I remembered how I was treated when I didn’t have it altogether. I was sick and going through a lot and instead of understanding and compassion, I was judged and criticized, just like Job. Looking back, I am tempted to stay angry but my eyes have opened to the situation I was in.
People strive on being fake. On being strong on the outside to prove they have it altogether. People do not understand the beauty in brokenness before God. Falling on one’s face before the Lord and crying out to Him.
You can sit there with your fake praises. You can sit there with your fake HALLELUJAH’s when you know deep in your heart you do not believe one word you are saying. God knows our hearts, we cannot lie to Him. We are only lying to ourselves.
David, another man of God, was also misunderstood and alone. He spent most of his life being rejected, misunderstood and in hiding but in his pain and loneliness he cried out to God. He expressed his anger, frustration, and fear. He told God how he truly felt.
The amazing part is, the more we pray, the Holy Spirit steps in and changes our prayers. As we read his scriptures for comfort, we begin to find hope and strength. God renews our strength.
He will renew your strength. He will strengthen you. He will open your eyes to see things differently. He is a place of safety from the harsh realities of life, people and circumstances.
You can do everything right like Job and still face adversity. I had to learn, for myself, that doing good and being righteous is not a get-out-of trouble card. Trouble comes. Confusion will come. Pain will find you. It is an inevitable part of life.
But in our moments of pain, run to God and then wait patiently on him.