Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
The apostle Paul is the classic example of discovering and experiencing joy in difficult circumstances. “Joy” and “rejoicing” are mentioned twelve times in his short letter to the Philippians—written while he was under house arrest in Rome with an uncertain future ahead of him.
What does it mean to have joy in difficult circumstances? At least two truths make joy possible. First, Moses told the second generation of Israelites who had survived 38 years of wilderness wanderings, “You shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household” (Deuteronomy 26:11, NIV). That is, we can rejoice because of God’s care for us in difficult times. Second, the fact that we are citizens of heaven means that we are in Christ in the heavenlies. That is, we can rejoice in difficult situations because of our citizenship in heaven where we are fully protected.
If you are a Christian today, God has cared for you and made you a citizen of heaven. He will continue to care for you and sustain you with the resources of heaven itself. Both truths make good reasons for having joy in the Lord today.
Faith enables us so to rejoice in the Lord that our infirmities become platforms for the display of His grace.
Charles H. Spurgeon