Hebrews 10:34 “You suffered along with those in prison and JOYFULLY accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the JOY set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
James:1:2-3 Consider it pure JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the JOY given by the Holy Spirit.”
Joy has way less to do with perpetual happiness and way more to do with perpetual satisfaction in God regardless of circumstance.
My circumstances are not.
Maybe I should stop basing how good my week or how blessed I feel on circumstances, and instead lean on the fact that He's all I need.
Even when He's all I have.
Joy starts here.
Pain and suffering don't have to steal the Christ follower's joy. Pain and suffering can instead MAGNIFY the Christ follower's joy.
If something is stealing my joy...be it worry or anxiety or fear or depression or doubt...it is because the resurrection has not truly embedded itself in that corner of my heart.
"In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart (be joyful!), for I have overcome the world" --Jesus.