“We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
1 John 1:4
We all go through tough times – it’s part of life. But often, it’s how we react to those hard times that determines whether or not we find joy in them. Jesus alone provides hope and comfort during difficulty. And in today’s Scripture, we learn how to find joy in hardship.
Joy Is Not Circumstantial
When we face difficult times, it’s important to remember that joy is not based on our circumstances. Instead, joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). This means that joy is something that God grows in us. It’s not something we can produce on our own. As we rely on God and trust Him, He will help us to experience joy – even in the midst of hard times.
Don’t Complain Too Much
Another way to find joy in hardship is by using our words wisely. When we complain, we create an atmosphere of negativity and despair. But when we speak words of hope and encouragement, we can bring joy to those around us (Proverbs 15:23). We also need to be careful not to complain too much, because we never know who or what God may be using to shape us into vessels of joy for others.
He Is Our Joy
The joy that Jesus offers us is complete joy because it comes straight from Him. He alone is the source of all joy. When we have Christ, we have everything we need for a full life. Jesus even said in John 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.” We can trust in His words – the ones recorded just for us to know Him and His eternal joy.
When you think about joy, what typically comes to mind? Do you think about happy feelings and pleasant experiences? The joy that Jesus speaks of is different. It is a deep-seated happiness that comes from knowing Him and being assured of His love for us. This kind of joy can be found in the midst of difficult circumstances because it is not based on our trials. Rather, it is based on our hope in Christ and His promises for our future. Trust in this truth today and share it with others.