But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. (Ps. 70:4)

BEING A CHRISTIAN DOESN’T MEAN you always have to smile and be happy. Sometimes it is appropriate to mourn, to be angry, or to be sad. After all, Jesus overturned counting tables at the temple, wept with His friends, and sighed over the spiritual dullness in His peers.

But the old saying “Don’t let the Devil steal your joy” rings true. Joy is not an emotion. It is a choice, made by faith, uninfluenced by our roller-coaster feelings. When we rejoice and are glad in Christ, we acknowledge that He works for our good, that this life is not all there is, and that His love for us will not fail.

Faith frees us from worry and fear. No matter the circumstances, we have hope because we know eternity awaits us and we will one day worship at the throne, no longer experiencing pain and suffering. We live with the hope of eternity.

Yet as we live this walk of faith, we learn that God can have a purpose for our trails here and now. Each time we witness a death, a tragedy or an unfairness in life, we can rest assured that God sees our situation, cares about us, and is always willing to comfort, guide and love us. He will never forsake us, and we are always within His loving reach.

Name your greatest trial, then thank God for His presence in it.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.