We all go through seasons in our lives. One month we are living peacefully, then the next month we find ourselves excited at all the action happening, and then the next month we find ourselves a little tired and ready to get back to that peace that we had a few months ago. We never know what season is going to hit next. All we can do is ride the lightening.
But take careful consideration of the above verse. Sure, seasons come, life happens, things change, but that doesn’t mean that we have to change. ‘Be joyful always’. That’s why I love that verse so much. It says so much with so little, and here’s how:
God’s word is truth, so if God says that we should ‘be joyful always’, then that means it is possible to always live a life of joy. Many of us would ask, how do we stay joyful in times of death, in times of sickness, in times of trouble?
Well, it does seem unlikely, yes, that staying joyful in those hours of turmoil is possible, but if God says it can be done, then we should believe him. Look at it this way. This life on earth is good for one thing, and that’s getting to our true home with Jesus in heaven. Heaven is for an eternity. This life is short. Life here, life now isn’t as important as we make it out to be. Death is just a passage into a better life with Jesus. Pain is only temporary until we can find relief. Everything in our lives can be replaced with something better. We are not stuck living with what we have.
If we are meant to always be joyful—and that doesn’t necessarily mean bursting with happiness, rather it means contently enjoying the life that Christ has put in us—then we are free to live joyfully even when it seems like we should be mad, sad, or hurt. We are free to remind ourselves at the worst moments of our lives that God still loves us—which will always remain constant—and the trouble that is happening is only temporary.
So, if we put our joy in Jesus, we will find that it is possible to always be joyful, because God is always good, always there for us, and will always love us. We can be sure that the good of God is the only constant in this world. God—and all that God is—is the only thing that we know will outlast all other things. And everything else is a variable. Everything else can or will change.
“But let all who take refuge in you (the Lord) be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11).
Take Acts 16:22-38 for example. Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for healing a slave girl in the name of Jesus Christ. After being flogged, the guard took them to their cell, but they didn’t get down on themselves while in there. Instead, they prayed and sang songs of praise to Jesus, and that led to a series of miracles, one of which led the prison guard to finding God for himself. Another of which shortly led them out of the prison to walk away as free men.