Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Maggie Castonguay! We are so encouraged by the message she offers today. If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!
Now, enjoy today’s post from Maggie 🙂
“How do you find joy in every moment?”
Someone once asked me this question and to be honest, at the time I didn’t know how to answer it. This world is filled with heartache, tragedy, and grief. How do you find joy in every moment, living in a world like this?
While I was writing this blog post, I realized that I haven’t looked up the definition of joy. When I googled it, I found the biblical definition and it put everything into perspective.
“The biblical definition of joy says that joy is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God’s presence and from hope in His word.” 1
Whoa. That’s good!
For a long time, my joy depended on my situation. If I played a great game, I would be happy. If I had good grades, I would be happy. If my friends and I were getting along, I would be happy. But if any of these things weren’t going how I’d like them to, I wasn’t happy. In fact, it felt like my world was falling apart.
The reason it felt like my world was falling apart was because my joy had been found in the things of the world. I couldn’t find joy in every moment because I valued the things that were in the moment more than Who was leading me in the moment.
I am sure that most of us have heard the famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And this is so true about our life here on Earth. As Christians, this world and this life is not our destination. Heaven is our destination, but life on Earth is our journey to get there. There will be ups and downs, happiness and heartache, but through it all we can have joy and peace knowing where we are going.
“And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” (1 Peter 1:5-6) NLT
Ever since I started to put God above the things in my life, I began to find true happiness. Of course, I still have days where I am upset and don’t feel the happiest. I’m human, and that is part of living in a fallen world. But it is in these moments of frustration and sadness that I feel God’s presence the most. God can turn any moment of sadness and hurt into a moment of joy and praise.
This is because God is joy. When you draw near to God, you will experience love, joy, peace, and understanding far beyond what we can imagine. You can draw near to God by spending time with Him. You can do this by reading the Bible, singing worship songs, or writing in a prayer journal. However you choose to, having alone time with God is crucial when trying to get closer to Him and finding the true joy that can only come from Him.
When I was in high school, I was on a number of different athletic teams. I loved to compete and I loved the adrenaline rush that came with playing sports. To me, being a Christian feels the same way. The closer I draw near to God, the more on fire I get for Him. I want to spread the Gospel, and tell everyone about Him! However, unlike an athletic team, we know that every time we step onto the court our team is going to win. God has defeated death, sadness, sickness, and pain, and we get to be on His team!
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4) NLT
True joy does not fluctuate with your circumstance. True joy comes from knowing Who is in control and Who has already won the war against sin and death. This alone gives me joy, hope, and peace. It motivates me to live my life in a way that glorifies God in every moment. And when you choose to glorify God in every moment, good or bad, His strength and joy will fill you immensely.
“Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!” (Psalms 96:11) NLT
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find happiness here on Earth. God has blessed us with relationships and a world to explore His creation. But we will not find true joy when we start to depend on these things as our source of happiness. There will be moments in your life that are filled with heartache and sadness. In fact, even Jesus’s life on Earth was filled with these emotions. He felt our pain and endured the cross for US! We have joy because of who Jesus is and because He saved us.
So, how do you find joy in every moment?
We can find true joy in every moment because we know Who stands with us in every moment.
We can find true joy in every moment because we know Who saved us.
We can find true joy in every moment not because of who we are, but because of who Jesus is.
This joy is not dependent on your current situation. There is nothing that you, or anyone else, can do or say that will change this joy. This joy will last forever.
My prayer for you, friend, is that you will draw closer to God today and that you will find His peace, love, hope, joy, and understanding that can only come from Him. Just know that God knows about whatever circumstance you are going through right now, and He is right there fighting alongside you. God is the source of true joy.