This was written at the beginning of December.
The last few months I've had some gray days, days where the mundane seems endless and everything feels harder. One morning as I awoke to yet another day, I wondered if I really believed the scripture that "Men are that they might have joy." Was this joy supposed to be now or only after the judgement? And if joy was something we work hard for, how are children so joyful when all they do is play?
I've learned a few things since then. A friend taught me that "Joy is hard bought." I knew that, but had forgotten. Then Isaiah taught me, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." (Isaiah 12:3) I finally started to understand. For, we "are bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 7). Christ himself has paid a high price for us and our salvation. True joy comes from redemption and salvation (bought by Christ). Despair comes from sin. As I turn again to Christ and again welcome his Spirit into my life, joy returns.
I know that what I wrote then is true, that obedience and the Spirit bring joy. I also know that it isn't always easy for me to feel the joy in life, even when I'm doing what the Lord requires. I'm slowly learning how to take care of my body and mind so that I can feel the joy the Lord sends. But knowing that true joy comes from the Spirit helps me to not give up on the hard days. As the Professor learned from his brother and then taught me, doing what you ought to, but don't want to, may not make today feel any better, but it sure makes tomorrow better. Someday, my body will work, and I will be glad I didn't give into the despair.