Joy in Darkness
Bible verse: Proverbs 15:13 "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit."
Insight: This Bible verse speaks on the joy we have in the Lord. There are so many things that we face in life that are so deep and intense that make us feel as though our spirits will just be crushed. I will not diminish the reality of these experiences and this pain—what I can say for certain is that God has never forsaken us in those moments of desperation and pain. This verse digs deeper to the core of God's joy in our lives. We can be crushed and bombarded in every way, but God is still God and His joy is available to us even then. The difference between mere happiness and true joy rests in how our hearts find gratitude even amidst the bleakest of circumstances. There's a famous Hillsong song that goes, "Even when the fight seems lost I'll praise you." Even when... even when all hope seems lost, we get to praise Him. Our hearts can find freedom and joy even in heartache. There are so many things in our day-to-day life that can be hurtful. Many things happen to us that actually will break our hearts, but the joy of the Lord reigns above it all. Let's be people who find the joy of the Lord even when it feels impossible.
Work application: This devotional is for those who are just starting out in their career journeys or are trying to make a significant change in their journeys. It can feel overwhelming and painful if it feels like you're not getting anywhere in your career. There have been so many instances where recent graduates come out of school feeling like failures because they don't have a job lined up or they begin to compare themselves to their peers who seem to have it all together. It is a very real emotional burden to deal with comparison and feelings of inadequacy, especially when it comes to our careers. As I said before, we can find joy in God amid these circumstances even when getting the job you want seems impossible. As Christians, we get to go through these difficult times with God's love, joy, and direction that only He gives. Jeff McHugh, co-author of From Illusion to Reality, expresses that through our failures, we grow. Setbacks, mistakes, and failures are experiences that will teach us how to grow and build resilience. Take heart even in career situations that seem impossible because we have the opportunity to grow, find joy, and depend on God.
Grateful: I am grateful that even when things seem bleak and painful—God's joy is there. I can hold onto that truth in any situation I face.
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Contributor: Jessica Carrera holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Biblical Studies from Biola University. She aspires to touch the lives of others through her words.