Gosh, I don’t know about you, but some days? I’m just “so over” hard.
The never-ending pandemic suck, the emotional struggles, the habits that have a hold on me and feel impossible to break. ALL OF IT.
Honestly, sometimes I reach a point where I’ve simply just had enough: I’m exhausted, frustrated, discouraged, and tired of fighting.
Pain & Suffering: It’s Unavoidable
Sometimes I wish I could just…poof!…transport myself out of my stormy reality and whisk myself away to good ‘ole “Happy Island” — a place where all is fun, light, easy, and care-free.
I’d love to just say,“Peace out, pain and problems,” and go set up camp in “happy” for a while (or maybe forever). ‘Cuz I mean…happy’s awesome. Happy feels good. Happy’s my (for lack of a better term) “Happy Place.”
(Sigh.) Man, that sounds nice. Doesn’t it?
Gosh, wouldn’t it be SO great if we could just hit the “escape” button when life gets hard and simply leave our pain and problems behind?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think so.
But unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. We can’t just opt out of life’s storms and go set up shop in happy whenever we feel like it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We can certainly try to outrun our pain and problems by chasing happy. In fact, it may even work for a little while. But sooner or later, the hard realities of life and the hidden, suppressed brokenness inside of us always catch up with us. (Trust me: I know from experience!)
The BAD NEWS is that pain and problems are unavoidable: there’s no escaping them.
BUT don’t worry. It’s not all bad: there’s good news.
The GOOD News: Joy In the Hard
Friend, I know it can feel discouraging to hear, “You can’t avoid pain and suffering, it’s just a reality of life.” Because I mean…hard can suck. Like…really, really suck.
BUT HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS, FRIEND.
#1 – First off, it’s often the “hard stuff” that makes way for the “good stuff.”
From my experience, I’ve found if we choose to brave the dark places and welcome God into that process we’ll find healing and freedom. Not only does our relationship with God deepen; but He also helps restore our brokenness and free us from the things that are sucking the joy right out of our lives (such as shame, past hurts, fear, insecurity, and self-doubt).
Oh, and also?
#2 – God doesn’t just helps us “get to the other side” of suffering.
I mean, He does that (help us through, that is).
But He also wants to help us ENJOY THE RIDE. God doesn’t want us to just clench our teeth and muster through the pain. No! God offers us direct access to His joy and peace: things we can experience at any time, even when we’re in the midst of the turmoil.
God’s joy and peace is NOT dependent upon our circumstances or whatever mess that’s going on inside of us, my Friend. We have the ability to experience these things with God’s help, even when it feels like our personal world is crashing down around (or inside of) us.
But how do we DO that? How can we access joy when our life is filled with pain and problems?
How to Find Joy in Hard Times (Audio Recording)
Well, Friend, let’s talk about it.
In this audio recording, I talk about how we can access joy, even when life’s messy and less than ideal. You’ll learn about:
- Daily practices you can implement to help you release overwhelm/problems and restore joy
- Reasons you may lack joy (even if it seems like you “should” be happy) and how to work through that with God
- Why it’s important to make a practice of seeking out joy (joy is not a “one-and-done” conquest)
- How to use gratitude to train your mind to seek out the good and experience more joy in your life
- An exercise to help you use the nostalgia of Christmases past to inspire your Christmas present
- Encouragement to find joy in those “valley” places
Just click on the image below to jump right in and have a listen:
Audio Recording “Minute Marker” References:
- Intro: Let’s talk about joy (0:00)
- Advent Devotional Reading on Joy (5:49)
- Scripture verses (10:16) (Note: A quick reference to the verses so you can read through them on your own)
- Application #1 (An Action) – How to use gratitude to train your mind to seek out good (10:58)
- Application #2 (A Reflection) – Tap into the nostalgia of Christmases past to inspire Christmas present (13:18)
- Application #3 (A Truth) – A truth statement to carry you through the week (14:42)
- Closing Word of Encouragement (14:59)
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