When I was in college, my psych professor would have us say Psalm 118:24 at the beginning of class. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. While this may have seemed like a meaningless ritual to some, it had a profound effect on me. You see I knew that a few years back her husband, who had been a very prominent minister in our denomination, had taken a gun and ended his life.
I remembered the shock and grief people felt. I remembered the unanswered questions which hung in the air. Yet a few years later his widow was telling me to rejoice each day.
Some may question the value of quoting this scripture before a class each day but i know that it taught me something. It taught me that while I may not be able to choose what I will face during the day, I can choose how I will meet it. I can choose to face life with Him or without Him. I can choose to trust Him or not trust Him. I can choose to be a victim of my circumstances or a victor over them. I can choose to place my hand in His or to yank it away.
Lest you think I have a smooth perfect life, I can assure you I don't. We all have our battles. My battles may not be the same as yours but they are still battles. My battles over the past couple of years have been in the form of breast cancer and more recently a ruptured brain aneurysm from which I am now recovering. These things have a myriad of issues which I won't go into right now.
I only know that when I choose to trust in God, when I choose to rejoice in Him regardless of the circumstances, He gives me joy. Don't confuse joy with happiness for happiness is dependent upon your circumstances and external factors. Joy on the other hand is not dependent on your circumstances and it bubbles up from within.
Yes, I know we live in a joyless world. I know that as Christians we often struggle with obtaining joy. However, we must remember that joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit and God desires to give us joy unspeakable. Have you asked?
I so admire your positive character. One born out of adversity. We may all wonder how we would react under the same circumstances. I have been so blessed (particularly at my age). We all can look to example and take on the responsibility of demonstrating character and faith. I pray that when that time comes I can measure up with such grace. milt