I am well aware that January in particular can be quite a depressing month and there are a few statistics floating around to confirm that. What with Christmas bills and not enough daylight, this can lead to feeling gloomy. Equally, life could just be a struggle at the moment. Please let me know if you would like the Pastoral Care Team or me to come and visit you because that is what we are here for.
When times are difficult, it can be hard to feel happy, yet I would like to suggest that we can still feel joyful. I wonder if you have ever thought that there might be a difference between happiness and joy? Happiness is more of a fleeting moment while joy is found deep down in our souls. There is a verse in the book of Psalms that says: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy”.
Many people have sought joy but have not found it. It is… not in
- Unbelief – Voltaire was an unbeliever of the most
pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born”.
- Pleasure – Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone
did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone”.
- Money – Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth”.
- Position and Fame – Benjamin Disraeli enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret”.
- Military Glory – Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent before he said “There are no more worlds to conquer”.
As I spoke about in Great Ness last Sunday, joy is not a once in a lifetime experience but can be never-ending. Married couples’ joy does not end when the wedding day is finished – their love for each other bubbles over into other parts of their lives. So it is with us. There are so many times that God tells us to ‘rejoice’ in the Bible – not just at Christmas time – and, as we begin to take in the enormous reality that we are loved by him and that he is trustworthy, so our joy at knowing it overflows into the rest of our lives.
Do you want to experience more joy? Do call me if you want to talk about it. My prayer is: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’