From the moment I moved to Gunnison Colorado, I began to learn what it meant to be happy in the life I had. I moved to Gunnison for college and for a fresh start. Before moving there, I felt like all the joy had been drained from my life. There was a part of me that wondered if I would even find joy there. I kept going back and forth with the idea of packing up everything I owned and moving to a place where I knew no one. A friend of mine, who is more like a father figure than a friend, told me that it may be scary to leave everything I know behind, but the one true person I needed would be by my side, and that is God.
Once I made the move, I realized that it was a lot different than I expected and I began to doubt my decision. I knew I would have to put my full trust in God. I made some friends eventually, but I also learned a valuable lesson along the way on what it means to be truly happy. You see, I have always found this world to be a very depressing one. When you turn on the news, you constantly hear about all of the cruelty and pain that is happening. Those things brought me down. I began asking questions like, How do I keep joy in my heart when there is so much pain going on around me and How am I supposed to encourage others when I have no joy and encouragement in my own life?
God gives us an important message to remember regarding this life in John 16:33.
I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 ESV
Knowing this in my heart, I still didn’t understand how to have peace. That is where my new friends came into play. I told them how I was feeling and what I was struggling with. The one lesson they taught me was this, it is okay to feel sad and depressed about the pain going on in the world, but it is crucial that you don’t give it power over your life. You can give that pain and sadness five minutes and then you go out and live your life in happiness. That is why God tells us to “take heart” in John 16:33.
This world we live in will never be perfect. However, if we let this broken world consume us and make us lose sight of the joys God has placed in our lives, then we will never find happiness.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 ESV
So as you live your life, remember that there has to be joy there somewhere. Maybe it means a major change in your life to get that joy back or maybe it is the simple task of trusting God with His plan and fixing your relationship with Him. Without God in your life, you cannot truly have everlasting joy.