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Gold Purified Through Flames

I have been thinking about joy through adversity and happiness even in bad times lately. It just seems that awful thing after awful thing has been hitting me lately. But I decided that I'm going to give it to God, work on being happy for once, and not let the bad things define me. The hard things in life are not avoidable, but what we do with them is up to us. I actually wrote a whole speech thing on this back in 8th grade...

Why should joy depend on circumstances? Is it true that the only way to be happy is by having everything go just the way you want it?

No, true joy isn't dependent on your circumstances. It's dependent on you and God. Whether you're joyful or not shouldn't be determined by whether you got that new iPod or laptop. I have several good friends who struggle with depression, yet they make the CHOICE to be joyful every day.

I asked one of my friends for her opinion on this, and she said something that amazed me: "I think for me, joy isn't the choice...the choice is choosing to let Jesus give me joy in the midst of tough circumstances. When something bad happens, I can either make myself and everyone else miserable by letting my emotions control me, or I can rise above that and do the extraordinary: put a sincere smile on my face and say, 'Bring on the storm. I've found a love and a sense of peace that is bigger than any curve ball that life may throw at me.'

"It's not easy, and most of the time I would rather just be miserable. But the first step is the hardest and once you make the choice to let the love of Jesus dictate how you face the day, the joy that fills you is indescribable. I'm not saying that all your problems go away. In all honesty, they usually get harder. But choosing to embrace joy can give you strength to face things that you never thought you could live through. And Jesus is worth the suffering!"

She said it perfectly.

I think that no matter what your circumstance, you should make an effort to be joyful for Jesus. It not only changes you, it changes how others see you.

Here are some ways to start living a more Joyful life, inside and out!

  • Start and end every day by counting your blessings and thanking God for each and every one of them. Even if all you can think of is, "Thank you, God, for letting me live another day."
  • Record answered prayers and thank God for them.
  • When something bad happens, give it to God, asking Him to teach you and show you how to find joy even when it's rough.
  • Focus on helping and encouraging others. Instead of laughing at that mean joke about someone else, stick up for that person, and point out their good traits.
  • Do something special for someone else secretly. It not only makes them happy, it makes you happy too."

Nicely done, younger me. I just wish I had remembered all those words of wisdom more often in the last few years.

It's really hard to remain happy in this world with all the distractions, the bullies, the confusion, and the fear of the unknown. I feel like it's really important to remember that it's alright for these things to happen, and it's okay to not know all the answers. We just have to give these things to God and focus our energy on the things we can change—not the things we can't. Leave those up to God.

In the end, we will become gold, purified through the flames of adversity.


By: Lucy

Lucy is a bundle of awkward, rock n' roll, and dreams—with a heart recklessly in love with her Savior.