I have taken to saying, "My joy does not depend on my circumstances." Let's talk about that. Is that really possible?
Yes, if we can draw a distinction between the state our circumstances and the state of our spirit. But let's not pretend. It is more difficult to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit if, say, you are experiencing chronic pain. Or if you are going through a messy divorce. Or can't pay your bills. It's okay to be sad when you're sad.
But sadness doesn't mean you can't at the same time have an inner peace and joy. That's because there's a genuine difference between our external circumstances and our internal spirit. And that difference becomes increasingly distinct as we mature as disciples of Jesus.
As God grows our faith in Jesus, belief in his holy Word, and confidence in his character, it is the normal Christian experience to one day find ourselves thinking, "My joy does not depend on my circumstances."
I hope you are already there and, if not, that you will continue to grow as a disciple and one day soon also be able to declare that Joy has become your permanent home address.
I realize that I've left more unsaid than said, but sometimes I think we try to say too much.
Until every church disciples every man....