God’s Word tells us to have joy in the Lord. I’m thankful it doesn’t say to be happy in the Lord. Happiness too often depends on what is happening. It can be fleeting. Joy however, lasts. We can have joy even when what is happening is not pleasant.
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9. The Apostle Peter writes in verse 6 that we are to rejoice. In the preceding verses he speaks of God’s mercy that causes us to be born again. He says we have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. He reminds us that we have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. Peter says that we are guarded by God’s power in our salvation and when the end comes, all will be revealed. Then, he says, “in this you rejoice.”
Our rejoicing isn’t based on our present situation. Our rejoicing is based on who God is and what God has done for us through His Son Jesus. Therefore, we rejoice. This is how we can rejoice. The good news is nothing can change the character of God, nothing can change what Christ has done for us. When you don’t feel like rejoicing reflect on the character of God. Let your thoughts dwell on what God has done for you through Jesus. That’ll give you reason to rejoice.
Peter acknowledges that adversity comes. After he tells us to rejoice in verse 6, he says that we have various trials that bring grief. Peter goes on to say that those trials test our faith and result in more praise to the Lord. He reminds us that we love Jesus, even though we haven’t seen Him. In our trials it’s good to remember that we haven’t seen Jesus, but we walk by faith. It is this faith in Jesus that that brings about the salvation of our souls, according to verse 9.
The more we keep our eyes on the Lord…on His character…on the work of Jesus…the more we can rejoice. As the words of the hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” remind us:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace