Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Scripture calls us to joy, to sing new songs of praise. In Galatians, it’s one of things said to be a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And it would be a great disservice to reduce it to the fleeting feeling of ‘happiness.’ It isn’t just gladness when things are going right, it is strength and refuge when they aren’t.
Joy is the hand cupping your chin, lifting your head when you are downcast.
Joy is knowing that stars shine brightly even when the clouds hide them from your view.
Joy is knowing that, “In this world you will have troubles,” but it also hears how Jesus finishes that sentence: “take heart; I have overcome the world.”
When life and circumstances feel unfair, it can be tempting to wrap yourself up in the anger, sadness, and self-pity. We limit ourselves on the joy and happiness we’re willing to feel when, in the moment, it is more comforting to have something to blame.
But when we refuse to let go of our negative mindset, we miss out on so much that God offers us. Jesus called us to abundant life, but we have to be willing to follow him into it, and let go of what holds us back.
“Whatever it is, do not be afraid of plenty. Joy is not meant to be a crumb”