People are always chasing things things to make them happy, but happiness is inconsistent and solely based on outward circumstances, whereas joy comes only from the heart, unaffected by whatever happens in the world.

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If I asked you this question, what would be your answer?

If you could have anything to bring you happiness, what would it be?

Maybe you might say…

If I could just have one more baby, I would be happy.

If I could just make this much money, I would be happy.

If we could just go on this vacation, our family would be more happy.

And the list goes on and on…

All of those example answers, and likely any answer you give to this question, have this in common: Happiness is based on outward circumstances that we feel must line up with the world’s standards of what we THINK we need to do to be happy…

However, you and I both know that it is impossible to control everything around you, even though we may try sometimes as moms!

Trying to be in control is exhausting, especially since the Bible is very clear that trouble will come in John 16:33:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Trouble, sadness, hardship, sickness, loss….these aren’t things we like to ruminate on, but they are all for sure one thing: unavoidable. That verse says we “will have trouble, but we can take heart.” That’s just another way to say that we can have JOY because we have JESUS! 

Joy, unlike happiness, is “an inside job.” It is a reflection of your heart and your mind…It can be as consistent as your heart beating and flow through you as naturally as your blood flows, because it is not something that you conjure up on your own. Joy is something that comes only from knowing the Lord!

“Even when I don’t see it your working…even when I don’t FEEL it your working…” 

A quote from the song WAYMAKER

We can know that even when hard things happen in our lives and when happiness “feels” absent in the moment, we can still know Jesus is faithful, giving you and I the ability to have joy even when bad things happen!

This concept will stump and shock the people in your life that are watching how you handle difficulty. This is a great way to start a conversation with your kids or anyone in your life: As they watch you walk through hard things, show them Jesus! Open your mouth and tell them, “I can do this, because I know I have Jesus walking every step with me.”

“The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”

Proverbs 19:23

This verse is not saying that we will not have any trouble as Christians, it is saying we will be untouched by trouble, because even in the hardest things, we can still trust Jesus and still have joy. That’s how we can claim this popular verse that the world often misinterprets…

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

Because we know that both Christians and non-Christians can get cancer, will lose loved ones, can have money problems, can struggle as parents and the list could keep going…But through it all, you and I can know that God is faithful and have joy, even when we’re not happy.

“The joy of the Lord isn’t there to remove the pain; the joy of the Lord is there to help me bear it.”

Adrian Rogers

There are many occasions that I can think of in my life where I wasn’t happy by world standards, but I still had the joy of the Lord gave me strength to go on, peace in not knowing and faith that brought me hope. Here are 2 situations that really stand out for me:

  1. Last May of 2022, I had a second miscarriage just before the second trimester, and I felt so much loss and sadness through that, but even still, I knew that they Lord was right there with me. Even though I didn’t understand it, I knew that God knew and He wasn’t going to leave me, giving me the ability to have joy through the pain.
  2. Then another thing over the past several years, has been walking through a brain tumor and some health things with my mom, who is only 59 years old. My faith has really been put to the test on this one! I clearly heard the Lord ask me back in January 2020 when this all started, “Mallory know matter what happens, will you trust me? Will you stay faithful to me?” For a millisecond, I felt like Job must have felt in the Bible, and I told the Lord YES I would trust and be joyful always, even if my prayers didn’t get answered the way I wanted.

ONLY joy that comes from the Lord can bring that kind of strength to go on, peace in not knowing the answers and faith that follows through, that is unlike anything the world could make up of manufacture!

“You can fake happiness, but you can’t fake joy. Joy can’t be manufactured, and it doesn’t come from circumstances. The fruit of the spirit joy is steadfast in sorrow, triumphant in tribulation, and lasting is losses. Joy is ETERNAL.”

Referenced from The Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study from Love Worth Finding. PURCHASE HERE.

You might say, well that is a nice way to say it, that joy is eternal and never ends…But sometimes I feel like I have given up hope, and I don’t have joy at all. I’m just a tired and mentally exhausted mom, trying to find purpose. I’ve heard all the verses and know joy isn’t based on outward circumstances, but even still, I need to know how to have more joy in my life when things get hard…

What can I do to have more JOY in my Life?

Glad you asked! Here are 2 Ways:

#1 Check your sin–Do a sin exam.

God already knows what sin is separating you from Him, but sometimes you and I can be blind to it…

Ask yourself these questions: What am I watching? What am I reading? How much social media do I intake? What kind of friends do I have and what do wel talk about? How is my relationship with my husband? With my kids? What lies are you feeding yourself about your body? Do you find you are quick to get angry or depressed? Or want what others have?

“Only ONE thing can take your joy—not a cancer diagnosis, not a wayward child, not a broken home, not losing all your possessions. Only one thing can steal your joy—it’s not what your children do, not what your spouse does, not what your circumstances are—it’s YOUR SIN!”

So examine yourself today…Really take some time to think and pray and ask God, “do I have sin in my life that is ongoing and toxic to me not being able having joy in ALL circumstances?” And if you do…confess it! God has already sent Jesus to the cross to pay for it, and He is just waiting for you!

#2 It’s time to grow our confidence in having joy.

Well how do I do that?! To have confidence, is simple to know that God is in control. Confidence is having faith, even when things seem hopeless. — And there is ONLY ONE PLACE to find confidence like this, and that is in God’s Word.

Once again: In Romans 8:28—this is how we can have confidence and know that…

“In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Be careful you aren’t placing your hope and joy in your kids needing you at home or the activities that they are doing. Don’t place it in your marriage or a friendship. ONLY place your CONFIDENCE to have joy in the only thing that will NEVER change, and that is God’s Word and the relationship that you have with Him. 

That is confidence that you can stand on for life. Confidence that doesn’t change. Confidence that doesn’t get anxious. Confidence that doesn’t come from circumstances. This is joy—the confidence you can have in knowing Jesus will always be there no matter what happens! 

So let’s get into God’s word today and search ourselves for sin and know the confidence that we can having by staying rooted in the the TRUTH of God’s Word.

Remember, our kids are watching us–Will we show them joy in ALL circumstances, even when things get hard? They are looking to us to learn this, since they are not yet in a relationship with Jesus or mature in their faith.

I hope this has challenged you today and encouraged you if you have been out of God’s Word, to get back to it! You can’t focus on past mistakes or hurts, even though the devil tries to distract us with that. We have to look forward to what God is calling us to and proceed with JOY in all circumstances!

Please leave me a comment below of how this has encouraged you to find more joy in your motherhood and when hard things happen in your life. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @faithful31moms. -Mallory


Listen to this as a podcast HERE.