We live in a world where anxiety and depression are some of the biggest issues young people face. It’s no surprise because young people are constantly glued to their phones - heck, we all have our phones in our back pockets! We scroll through Instagram, check Facebook, flick through Twitter, use Snapchat, watch videos on YouTube - the list is endless. In a world of endless technology and digital connection, it’s so easy for those things to become a substitute for real, in-person connection.
Do you allow your joy to be determined by whether your friends text you to hang out or not? Do you allow your joy to be determined by whether you see your friends hanging out while you’re scrolling through Instagram and realise that you missed out or that you were never invited (cue FOMO). Or maybe you allow your joy to be determined by whether you've ticked everything off your to-do list? Or maybe you allow your joy to be determined by how much money you’ve made this week, or what sort of job you have.
But the thing is that these things are only temporary. If we put our joy in things that are fading away, we’re going to have a really tough time when the hard times hit.
When we look to the bible, we see that in 2 Corinthians 7:4 Paul had joy in the midst of his troubles.
“I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.”
- 2 Corinthians 7:4 (ESV)
How did Paul have this joy?
The only answer is that true joy comes from Jesus - true joy comes from our salvation.
Our relationship with God provides us with a deep, rich and fulfilling joy. It’s not just a happiness that’s temporary, it’s something that actually lasts.
Are you finding your joy in the Lord?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
- Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us, that means we have access to joy. In fact, it is a fruit of the Spirit. So when you feel flat, when you feel down, when you feel alone, when you feel stressed, when you feel frustrated, when you want to just scroll and scroll and scroll and text your friends to hang out - why don’t you stop, pause, and remember that true joy comes from the Holy Spirit. To receive that joy, all you have to do is ask, and spend time with the Holy Spirit. Turn on your worship music, pray, and read your bible.
Of course, life isn’t easy, and there are times when we receive bad news or when we’re just having a really awful day, and we need something. It can be so easy to turn to social media, to turn to friends, but I encourage you that when you’re feeling this way, turn to God and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy that lasts.
If this message helped you, I’d love it if you could comment a big YES in the comments section below, and tell me how you practically remind yourself of the joy of the Lord?