“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
How often do we find ourselves searching for joy in the wrong places? Throughout growing up, I have fallen short many of times by doing this exact thing – being dependent on what the world says joy is versus choosing God’s joy. Whether that be searching for joy in how well my life may be going currently, financial stability, social media presence, being in a relationship or married, hoping every single person likes/approves of me…I have been there, sister!
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
We are consumed in a culture right now where the world dictates if you are HAPPY, that is all that matters in life! Whatever makes you get to that place of being content in who you are and what you want to do, do it. That is almost the “trend” that is being spoken on, and that mindset is so very misleading. John 16:33 states,
“I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We see here in John 16 that we will face times of tribulation, trouble, and suffering. But take heart, we have a Savior!
I feel as though people correlate the words happiness and joy together. Almost like we put them in the same category, but oh wow.., how polar opposite these actually are sister! Let’s break down the two words together: Happiness and Joy.
One definition of happiness is “Conditioned by and dependent upon what is ‘happening to me.’” This relates back to feelings of if people are treating you well, if things in life are going good, then I’m happy! This happiness is externally triggered, fleeting, and is based on emotions. This happiness flees in times of suffering.
Now, when we look towards the definition of joy and what defines it we have, “a quality of living that is not constrained by circumstances.” This joy is consistent/lasting. It is not dependent on Earthly circumstances. It meets our deepest needs. It is the peaceful assurance that God is in control of my life. This joy strengthens in times of suffering.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
People. I have looked to people and have placed expectations on other to make me feel happy, seen, heard and appreciated. Possessions. I have allowed possessions to bring me a sense of joy in my life such as buying new shoes/clothes, makeup, a house, car, makeup, etc. Finances. I have let earthly money stress me out at times! You know what these all have in common? They will never be enough. When we choose to receive God’s joy, we are choosing nourishment for our soul to grow closer to Him. God is so gracious. He is always working for your good, sister. His peace is a promise, and his joy is readily available.
So, sweet sister, let us pursue God’s joy over Earthly happiness! I want to leave you with this scripture from Romans 15:13,
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
You are loved!
Gabby Rousse Gregory is a lover of Jesus, people, her hubby, and coffee! Gabby’s prayer is to help others grow into the woman that God has uniquely created them to be through fashion & faith?
Follow Gabby on Instagram @gabbyrousse