This one statement holds so much power! YOU make a happy life, not your circumstances. It has taken me a long time to realize that, but knowing that now has changed my entire outlook on life. Yes, we all have ad days, tough weeks, even prolonged rough patches in our lives. We all have trials and tribulations that shape our identity…BUT you have to be shaped by the joy you see in those hard times. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.” Rejoice always. ALWAYS. Think about that…always. That means without ceasing, not just when you can find something to be joyful about, but having a never ending joyful heart. It is a choice. It is a mindset. It takes training your heart and your brain. It takes continued and mindful effort. And when it’s hard? (Because it will be) then pray continually. An open dialog with the Lord will present his will (which is for you to be joyful always) so he will show you how. You will undoubtedly terrible tragedy where you think all joy is lost, but God has a plan and he reassures us that we do not have to lean on our own understanding. The Lord not only commands you to be joyful, but He lovingly wants that for your life and wants you to vigorously pursue that joy so that you can then pour it out to others.
You will have so many happy times in your life! I pray that the happy times far out number the bad times, but when the bad times show up at your door, you much CHOOSE to be happy. Do not be a victim of a circumstance. Do not let those trials own you and take you down. Do not let hard times define who you are. Do not let sadness rob you of your God given purpose. You are you! You are so special and the exact person The Lord has called you to be! So when life gets tough, you have a choice. I pray that you choose joy and happiness.