Blog by Darlene Winans

I’ve been in a difficult season. It’s tax season – the stress, the long hours, the exhaustion.
People demanding their refund from their taxes. People upset because they owe money to the
IRS. It’s how tax season goes every year.

In addition, I’m in a season of grief – my boss lost her husband at age 53. My co-worker lost her
father-in-law, and she was his primary caregiver. And I lost my aunt. She was 91, but she was
like a second mom to me. She always made me feel special. At my office, it’s busy, stressful, but
there’s also a lingering sadness that hangs over the office.

I texted my my best friend a few weeks ago: “I’m so tired. I’m overwhelmed with grief and
sadness this morning. Today grief is leading the dance, and my emotions are just on the surface.
I go in and out of grief over my auntie, then my sister updated me on my mom and her
dementia progression: she sleeps most of the day and isn’t eating much. She’s beginning to
mistake objects for their intended purpose, like putting butter in her coffee instead of

My friend, who wrote a book on grief, comforted me and affirmed what I was feeling. We
talked about self-care – we can get through a difficult season by taking care of ourselves:

o Eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising
o Taking moments to ourselves, like a bubble bath or sleeping in
o A favorite hobby – reading or biking or gardening …

But then she asked this question: “What brings you moments of joy?” Sometimes in difficult
seasons, we just need a moment of joy to get us through. Sometimes it’s journaling. Sometimes
it’s a moment of peace and quiet. A kind word from a friend – or a laugh with that friend! Or
that word from above that gives us hope, joy, strength to take on another day. Another hour.
Another minute.

So I’m going to fill us with some joy right now – promises and joy from God’s word – did you
know the word “joy” appears 430 times in the Bible? Here are just a few:
Psalm 19:8. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of
the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. I love how poetic and picturesque the word of God
can be – can you see the radiance? Can you see His glory filling the room? It gives light to our
weary or sad eyes. Amazing!

Psalm 16:11. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Want joy? Spend time in the presence of the Lord! He
will fill you with joy in His presence!

Psalm 92:4. For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have
done. When joy cannot be found, sing! Sing His praises! Recount what the Lord has done, and
that should bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart!

Isaiah 12:3. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Again, how poetic! I can
see myself drawing water from a well and drawing out His salvation for me, with joy!

Matthew 28:8. So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to
tell his disciples. The women who went to the tomb to find that Jesus was not there, He is risen
– they came with fear, but left filled with joy, so much joy that they ran to tell others! I want
that kind of life-changing joy!

John 16:21-22. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when
her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So
with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will
take away your joy. Grief will last for a season, a time. But we take comfort and rejoice that we
will see our risen Savior again at His second coming, and no one can take away that joy!

Romans 15:13. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that
you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Trust God with your season. And
He is so faithful – He will fill you with all joy and peace!

Nehemiah 8:10. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your
strength. Let the God of all hope, joy, and peace fill you and be your strength today!

SO MANY scriptures on joy in the word of God! So now I ask: What brings you moments of joy?
What gets you through difficult seasons or grief or sadness? What is the Lord teaching you in
this moment or in this season? Maybe you have to be like the anti-drug campaign says and
“Just Say No.” Say no to the too -many-things and focus on the things that bring you joy! Or
maybe you have to be like Nike and “Just Do It” – whatever the Lord is telling you to do, listen
to the Holy Spirit! Listen to His Word! Let joy in, and be blessed, my sisters and brothers in Christ!

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