I’ve been having a difficult time balancing the demands of a new teaching position, the physical limitations of having a broken arm, and the desire to maintain my blog on at least a minimal level. So, I thought that experiencing joy in difficult circumstances would be a great topic of the month in September. I get so bogged down in what I can’t do, that it’s easy to overlook all the blessings in my life that can – if I let them – bring me joy.
As I started putting this list of verses together, I naturally chose several from Psalms and some well-known verses (“the joy of the Lord is my strength – Nehemiah 8:10). But I also wanted to bring in some verses that are less familiar. Hence, I’ve also included verses from 1 Chronicles, Isaiah and Jeremiah.
I hope you find studying these verses this month is a blessing to you. Before I go, however, I want to share a bit about my experiences with joy.
Finding Joy When Times are Hard
I’ve written before about my struggles with depression – here, here, and here. But I’ve been doing really well for the last several years and am learning more about letting go of the things that drag me down and hanging on to the ones that bring me joy.
This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn. I’m naturally a glass-half-empty kind of person, but the longer I walk with the Lord, the more He changes my perspective to full-and-overflowing. He has blessed me beyond my ability to comprehend – and I’m not talking about financial blessings or even physical ones. I’m talking about the ones that really matter: spiritual, emotional, relational.
I’m talking about
- Loving on grandkids
- Enjoying my adult children as friends
- Liking and loving my daughters-in-law
- Growing closer to the Lord daily
- Having precious time in His Word and in prayer
- Being on an even keel, instead of spiraling into depression
- Being loved by my husband (celebrating 35 years this month!)
- Loving my church home
- And so much more…
What would your list of reasons to be joyful look like?