When my life seems hopeless and depressing, I long for the day when Jesus will make all things right. When life is heavy and painful, I can’t wait to be with Him. But there is powerful hope and joy in remaining grateful for God’s blessings even in the midst of suffering. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of the things that bring us joy.
I could go on and on about the goodness of God and the blessings He lavishes on us. Everything we have is His, and yet He graciously invites us to experience life to the fullest with Him. Joy can be found every day if only we choose to look for it. Remember, “don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rom. 12:2 NLT).
We are so fortunate. God doesn’t have to give us anything because He already gave everything: His Son. But He wants to show His love and affection, reminding us of His tender care. Life isn’t always easy, but ﬁnding the small (and sometimes big) blessings mixed in with the hard is a practice that can keep us going. When we focus on these gifts and His promises, our joy will remain. Even in hard times—or maybe especially then—it’s all about our perspective.
There will undoubtedly be times when we won’t experience contentment and joy. You may be debilitated with grief, depressed because of difficult circumstances, or doubting the goodness of God. There are times when we hit rock bottom and have no desire to get back up. Loss and disease and relational issues and betrayal and trauma can leave us crying on earth and craving eternity.
But these are exactly the times when it’s so powerful to choose joy and gratitude.
Today, in this exact moment, while I have tired eyes, little energy, and my own set of trials, I thank God for the blessings around me. The new flowers blooming outside, a baby girl sleeping on my chest, a roof over my head, and the freedom to open a Bible and read it without persecution. I do not take any of these lightly. I do not deserve any of these gifts, and I know everything could change tomorrow. But for today, I’m grateful for the small things because they truly are the big things to hold on to in life.
Nicole Jacobsmeyer shares her story this Monday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Take Back Your Joy by Nicole Jacobsmeyer. Copyright ©2022 Nicole Jacobsmeyer. Published by Esther Press, an imprint of David C. Cook. Used by permission.