Don’t stop smiling: 5 scriptures to help you keep your joy in times of adversity
Article By Tabitha Jeffries // EEW Magazine // Spiritual
Life comes at you fast and can hit you with some pretty ugly scenarios. But what it cannot do is steal your smile—that is, when that smile comes from a place of true joy, found in Christ alone.
The closer you get to God, the greater your level of authentic, divine joy. When you make your relationship with Jesus a priority, you will be able to sing the lyrics to an old song as your personal testimony: “This joy I have the world didn’t give it to me, and since the world didn’t give it, the world can’t take it away!”
If you really want this kind of joy, read these 5 scriptures:
“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)
When God’s law was read in Israel’s hearing, they felt overwhelming guilt, shame and sorrow for having sinned against Him. But Nehemiah told them not to grieve, for they were being restored to their rightful place of communion with the Lord. The point is, whenever you’re in fellowship with the Savior, this is where true joy and strength is found. If everything in your life goes haywire, as long as your connection to Him is strong and your faith solid, you will remain joyful, content and strengthened.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:22)
Satan would love to break your spirit, rob you of hope and strip you of peace, but don’t let him get his way. Seek God’s face, turn away from negativity and things that feed worry, and keep on smiling, laughing and rejoicing in the Lord. A merry heart is like a potent dose of medicine. It lifts your spirit and makes your load feel lighter. When you walk closely with God, your joy will remain full.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” (Proverbs 31:25)
This Proverbs 31 woman—which is the type of woman each of us is called to be—resists fear, frantic fits, and anxiety arising from doubt. She trusts the Lord and rests in Him. She laughs with abandon, for she is confident that the One who holds the future is holding her hand. Why fear what may come against you tomorrow when the Alpha and Omega—the beginning and the end—is for you?
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:11)
As we have established, the presence of the Lord is the place where you find joy, delight, pleasure and everything you need to sustain you! When you regularly spend time with Him, your mentality shifts. You live victoriously and joyfully because God shows you the way of life. He reveals things to you and showers you with blessings, and unmerited favor.
“Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!” (Psalm 98:4)
If Paul and Silas could praise in prison (Acts 16:16-40), you can praise in the midst of your adversity. Something happens when you begin giving God glory in troublesome times. In Paul and Silas’s case, in response to their prayer and praise, Heaven shook the foundations of the prison and loosed everybody’s chains. So put a praise on it and watch God break chains, destroy yokes and cause joy to flow from your heart like a mighty river! After all, Psalm 33:1 makes it crystal clear that praise is always befitting—no matter what.
Smiling and being joyful is not about pretense. It doesn’t mean put on an act, plaster on a fake smile when your heart is breaking, and be phony.
No, this kind of joy is real, and it is commensurate with your level of communion, commitment and connection to God.