Too often, we can find ourselves going through our daily routine feeling like there’s something wrong with us. We’re bombarded with messages from the external environment encouraging us to compare ourselves to others, and suggesting that we’re not good enough. However, we don’t need to get caught up in this kind of drama. God accepts us just the way we are; He wants our lives to be a joyful exclamation of His love, with a sense of expectation of good things waiting to happen.
It doesn’t matter to God what season of life we’re in; we can still be joyful. Listening to what the world tells us can rob us of hope and leave us completely discouraged; listening to what God tells us brings us encouragement and joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Counting our blessings and reflecting on the good things He has given us helps us to maintain our joy.
An attitude of thankfulness keeps us in the right frame of mind. There will always be some situation not to our liking that can try our patience—if we let it. That’s part of life. The key is to avoid a “sour grapes” mentality, and realize that negative circumstances give us an opportunity to be content with what we have. “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations” (James 1:2, AMPC).
Trials and adversity are the enemy’s way of trying to steal our joy. He knows that if we slip into a bad attitude, the door is open for him to come in and bring dissatisfaction, discontentment, and frustration. Refusing to be moved out of our joy gives us the upper hand. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places...” (Habakkuk 3:17-19). Aggressively standing on this mindset closes the door on the devil and opens the door to receive the blessings God wants to give us.
We’re in a spiritual battle, and the enemy constantly tries to attack us and tear us down by making us feel devalued and unloved. It’s a mistake to compare ourselves to someone else and think that being like them could make us happy. Happiness comes from momentary circumstances, but joy comes from what we know. When we know how God feels about us, we win. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NKJV).
God didn’t make us to be alone. Agreeing with Him on this point, and fully trusting in Him, allows Him to work His will in our lives. He’s well able to turn around anything that’s wrong and make it right. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”(Romans 8:28, NLT). We can take great comfort in this.