Have you ever been “caught up in a moment”?

When I think back, I can remember so clearly that feeling of being caught up. My wedding, reunions with old friends, adventures with family, birthdays and anniversaries and celebrations of life! Feeling truly present, experiencing a sacred moment of heaven kissing earth. Overwhelmed with feelings of bliss, happiness, and fulfillment.

But I’m sure, like me, you are too familiar with the truth that these moments do not last. There is no permanent state of bliss, no happiness without interruption, and no complete fulfillment this side of heaven. Moments of despair, anxiety, and pain come on just as strong as the good ones, and hit us hard with the reality of living in a broken world.

So often we spend our energy and focus chasing those “better” moments of happiness, and avoiding the pain of brokenness. After all, who would choose a path of pain over a life of pleasure? Who would possibly ask to take on a life filled with loneliness, grief, and heartbreak?

Our beautiful Jesus.
He would.
He did.
For you, beloved one.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” [Isaiah 53:3]

Once Jesus breaks into the scene, we no longer have to fear the dark moments of life. Yes, they are still heartbreaking and yes, they are still ugly. There’s no escaping the reality of this imperfect world. But should we choose to follow Him and trust Him in those times, there is a deep joy that starts to break through.

In Nehemiah 8:10, the priest Ezra commands the people of Israel “do not be grieved, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength”. This verse perfectly encapsulates our reason for choosing joy in those hard places.

The joy of the Lord.
The joy in WHO He is.
The joy in WHAT He has done.
The joy of all that He is.

The joy of what He can accomplish in us regardless of our circumstances. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” [2 Corinthians 4:16] Renewed. Refilled. Refreshed with joy.

I challenge you to choose joy by choosing to abide in Jesus today.
Meditate on your beautiful Savior.
Know that He chose pain and darkness so that you can be invited into a life of joy and security in His grasp.
This world will always be broken, and our moments in need of redeeming.
But we are never alone, never forsaken.
And our Mighty King comes with joyful victory.

Written By: Amy Hawkins