“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).
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There is a misconception that Christians should always be happy. But Christian or not, it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Everybody is not going to be happy all of the time. It’s unrealistic to think so. To be happy something has to happen, but to have joy is different.
As Christians, we have the joy of the Lord. That joy is in our souls. So, whatever things are happening around us, that joy is not affected because it’s deep down and not contingent upon the difficulties of life that we may face.
In the New King James Bible, the word joy appears 65 times in the New Testament. The word happy is only found twice. God places an emphasis on joy because the joy that Christians have, the world didn’t give it, and the world can’t take it away.
So, when you’re feeling down or discouraged, know that it’s okay to feel that way. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, that you’re a bad person, or that you are somehow less of a Christian. You don’t have to do anything drastic or beat yourself up about it. Just feel those feelings in the moment and let them pass. And remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength!
“Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’” (Nehemiah 8:10).
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