How Can I Have Joy In Hard Times?
Thanks for joining the Need-Hope.com podcast. God tells us to “rejoice always.” But how is that possible when there is so much pain and suffering in the world? Maybe you are suffering right now. In this episode, we will hear a story about a woman who survived a Brain Stem stroke. Let’s see what she has to say about rejoicing always. You can listen to this podcast episode by clicking on: How Can I Have Joy In Hard Times?
Welcome to Need Hope.
Hi, I’m Chris Gray. I’m so glad you’re here.
Where do you find hope?
God tells us to “rejoice always.” But how is that possible when there is so much pain and suffering in the world? Maybe you are suffering right now.
In a moment, we’ll hear about a woman who survived a Brain Stem stroke. Let’s see what she has to say about rejoicing always. Stay tuned.
First, let’s listen to God’s Word. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. I pray God speaks to our hearts.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
That was 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
God instructs us to “Rejoice always.” But let’s face it, there are a lot of challenges in life such as health issues, relationship problems, addiction, financial struggles, and just encountering folks who aren’t very nice. How can we rejoice always? Does God truly expect me to rejoice no matter what?
I’d like to share with you a story of a woman I know who lives out this instruction from God.
In recent years, Connie had a Brain Stem Stroke. This left her with nerve damage causing severe pain on one side of her face. She tells me the pain is so intense it feels like a constant ice burn.
Over time, her strength has weakened. She gets dizzy. It’s hard for her to get around. Yet she also looks after her sister, who’s in assisted living. This sister has relied on Connie for years, even after Connie’s stroke. This is a person who the world would understand if she threw in the towel. But not Connie.
She keeps on saying, “God is good, all the time. God is good through it all. God is good!”
Connie finds ways to testify of God’s goodness. And she continuously looks for people to boast about the Lord Jesus to.
Connie also studies her Bible so she can stand in faith on God’s promises. She wants to be a doer of His Word in loving others.
Connie depends on God. She trusts that God is in control. She wants His will for her life no matter what. Because of these beliefs, Connie casts all her cares onto the Lord, knowing He hears her.
The fact is, Connie spends time with the Lord because she’s in a loving relationship with Jesus.
Connie will tell you it’s a choice. And guess what happens? As Connie obediently submits to the Lord Jesus, HE enables Connie to rejoice always.
Well, you might say that’s not normal. We can’t all be like Connie and obey God’s command to “rejoice always.” I mean, come on, Chris. I’m hurting bad! I’m not going to fake joy when I don’t feel like it.
Friend, you’re right. We aren’t supposed to muster up fake joy. That’s just acting. So how does Connie do it?
Jesus explains how, in John 15:9-12:
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
That was John 15:9-12.
This passage tells us that joy isn’t based on any circumstances we go through. Joy is based on a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He supplies the joy.
Consider this: Jesus had eternity on His mind while dying a painful, horrific death on the cross for the punishment of our sin. And Jesus rose from the dead, giving believers a new life with a different purpose. We truly have reason to rejoice always because Jesus rescued us.
That’s how Connie does it. Her joy is found in Jesus. It’s that simple.
The Lord Jesus supplies the joy as we submit to His loving authority over us. His love brings about trust in God’s goodness and His perfect plan for our lives. This produces the attitude of rejoicing always.
And being around a joyful person, it’s a beautiful sight to behold. Especially when this person attributes their joy to Jesus, bringing Him glory.
I pray for Connie. You can too. While we do that, you can be sure Connie is busy rejoicing in the Lord.
Here are a few questions to consider:
Is there anything that keeps you from rejoicing always in the Lord Jesus?
Do you know about Jesus’s love for you?
Can you trust that Jesus is good, in control, and worthy of your full devotion, no matter what?
Think about it. Pray about it.
Until next time, Look to Jesus.
And look to God’s Word for guaranteed hope.
Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.