Does anyone remember the song “Trading My Sorrows”? It was always my favorite in children’s church because it had such a catchy beat and it’s one I still find myself singing now. The chorus simply says,
“I’m trading my sorrows. I’m trading my pain. I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord.”
It’s no secret that we face sorrowful and difficult times. We live in a fallen world. However, I am sure we have all experienced happy times as well.
For some it might be finally running that extra mile. For others, it’s getting married or being able to finally start a family. Some people find happiness in promotions at work while some find it being around good friends.
However, the longer you run the harder you have to work to achieve another goal. The honeymoon phase of marriage tends to only last a little while and it’s no secret that being a parent is stressful. After a while that promotion you wanted so badly is either no longer good enough or you are striving towards another step in the business ladder. And no matter how hard we try not to, we let each other down from time to time.
I think we need to recognize one important thing here.
Happiness is circumstantial.
Joy is everlasting.
The truth of the matter is that as long as we chase the things in a temporary world, we are only going to be temporarily happy.
When times get hard, I so often find myself being reminded of Colossians 3:2 which says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
The truth is, God did create in us the desire for something perfect……Him. And until we realize that and strive to live for him daily we will always find ourselves settling for happiness when he longs for us to be joyful.
So how can we strive to live for him? Well, we can start by finding him in the things that make us happy. He created us with those interests for a reason.
Romans 12:6-8 tells us “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use his proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
That’s a pretty long list and I think we can all find something on there that speaks to us. If it’s in singing, then sing! If it’s in writing, then write! You get the idea!
One more thing about finding joy, Nehemiah 8:10 states, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Did you catch that? The creator of the universe is rooting for you and you can find strength in that! I don’t know about you, but that is the only motivation I need!
What about you?