Today I have been thinking about how having joy, in any circumstance whether that circumstance is good or difficult. Being truly joyful or happy is such a fantastic strength and gift to have.
I was recalling a conversation I had where someone was telling me that: such and such a person shouldn’t be happy because of their circumstance. They should tell people about their situation and have people pray for them. And instead THAT person is praying for other people. Then the person went on to say that Christians are family and we should pray for such and such.
It was a tricky conversation. I just said if a person wants other people to know their business then they will tell them. And we can pray for someone without knowing all about a situation because God does know and we don’t always need too.
I now think that the person was upset because they didn’t have all the juicy gossip and they thought by putting a prayer request around “trying to help someone” they may get the gossip they were after. It seemed to me that the person was somehow upset almost angry that other person can be happy and think and pray for others when they themselves are going through painful and difficult circumstances. Perhaps that persons expectation on how another person should be or act wasn’t met?
There are many scriptures that talk about being joyful in the Lord. We don’t have to be “head over heels” happy when we are going through a hard time. It is okay to have a few down days but it is better to be joyful no matter what. When we get down to basics, God’s grace is enough! The fact he sent his son to save us, should be enough to give us joy and strength to get through the hard times inspite of circumstances. Like in Nehemiah 8:10 “… for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” AND then in Romans 12:11-13 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. If we take a look at Paul and his writings he learn’t to be content in very difficult situations.
I learnt an interesting lesson from that conversation. That some people aren’t happy or pleased for others when they are happy in-spite of their circumstances. But I reckon God would be. Especially as we continue to walk by faith and not by sight.