Joy … noun

  1. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

As Thanksgiving briefly appeared and Christmas is full at hand, many may count the holiday season as pure JOY.   This photo of my son and daughter is evidence that not everyone is filled with joy. Last year Parker just wanted his baby sister to smile for the perfect picture because he knew that when this was achieved his time in front of the camera would be over. He tried over and over again to make her smile. He became aggravated, exasperated and exhausted. Ultimately, he got fed up and gave up and copped the “whatever” attitude.  How many times has this happened to you when you are in pursuit of your dream?

What I mean is that you routinely try your best to maintain a great attitude and remain positive. You try to just shake off the negative feelings that pop up when you find yourself in a bad or unhappy situation. Eventually you may find yourself in the ultimate challenge that rocks your world.

You may be faced with a major health issue, or the loss of a loved one, a dreaded audit, financial hardships or unhealthy family dynamics that seem to come up during what should be happy and special occasions. Perhaps there is something in your past that is so gripping and traumatizing that it literally keeps replaying in your mind and it steals your joy during a time in your life that should be the happiest time of the year.

Each of us are aware of what it is that we have gone through, are currently going through and may even know what we are about to go through. No matter how hard we try to fight it, we know that there will always be a season in our lives where something will beat us up and knock us down.

I believe that it’s during these times that our character is tested and we actually can learn so much from adversity. We must hold on fast to our dreams and hold on tighter to our faith. Try to remember that the difficulties we face come with every journey, but they may be worthwhile in teaching you something as your approach each destination.

In the Book of James verses 1:2-4 (The voice translation) states.

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

The Bible can pretty much wrap it all up and if you take time you’ll discover that it can answer any question you may have.

I will end this post with two things. If your going through something difficult during this season don’t lose heart, just keep pressing forward because as my Dad has been saying for years: “The Best is yet to Come”.  Lastly, count your blessings and let the people in your life know just how much you care about them. Don’t tell others how special these people are; tell them.

I heard this song last night called “What I’m Thankful For”.   Even in the mist of trials we all can find something to be thankful for. It really helps to focus on all of the good things. I bet if you try doing this, you will begin to experience joy. We know that the trials of life will always come our way and we must not allow adversity to take away our joy. I can now look back at this Christmas photo of my son and daughter and chuckle just by adding the word JOY above them changes the entire scene and I can count this event as a Joyful one.

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