Joy is always possible, even in the midst of trials and struggles. It’s not a when/then proposition from God (Philippians 1:18-19; Philippians 4:8-9). Rather, it’s a decision we make despite our circumstances. We can choose joy no matter what “prison” we’re currently in because the true source of joy isn’t based on our circumstances (Philippians 4:4-7; Nehemiah 8:10). When we have a right relationship with God, we’re able to appreciate what we have and live knowing that He is working for our good — even when we can’t see it (Philippians 1:3-6). The doors we feel are closing and the detours we think we’re taking are all leading us to God’s destination. (Acts 11:14-15; Proverbs 16:9). He invites us to lay the plans of our lives before Him with open palms, for when we hold on too tightly, He needs to pry it from our hands (Revelation 3:7). God’s plan is always perfect, and this remains true in the trials we face. In the face of those struggles, when we choose joy, it impacts us for tomorrow and our future generations (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).
2) What plans am I holding on tightly to? How can I start to surrender those to God?
3) Where in my life has God’s “detour” turned into a destination filled with blessing?