Circumstance and Joy

“My joy is becoming less dependent upon my own immediate circumstances and more attached to what He [God] is doing” (a letter from Bonnie to Elisabeth Elliot)

And isn’t that how joy – true joy – grows? When we quit thinking of it in worldly terms and begin to think of it in Godly terms?

Joy is not a passing fancy. Joy is not donning a Cheshire cat grin no matter what happens. Joy can be found in any circumstance because it is not based on circumstance but on an unchangeably loving God.  

We find joy in Him, not in our stuff or our feelings or our life right now or anything else. Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).

We can find joy even in the hard things, because we are assured that God is working in them.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~ James 1:2

I return to the quote above:

“My joy is becoming less dependent upon my own immediate circumstances and more attached to what He [God] is doing”

I think her idea holds an important key. We often ask (even unconsciously), “What is going right in my life now?” However, we can discover joy when instead we ask, “what is God doing in my life right now?” And God’s joy is full and rich and sweet, even in the hardest of times because we place our joy not in scattered moments and earthly treasures but in Him.

Today, may your heart be filled with His precious joy

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. ~ John 15:10-11

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash
Quote from The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot
Image (with inserted hymn lyrics) by Vincenzo Modica from Pixabay

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