Joy--the kind that Paul wrote about in Philippians and that God desires for our lives--is not based on our circumstances. It's based on our willingness to embrace fully the person of God. It begins with our attitude.
Now...this isn't easy. I know. I've lived it as recently as the last few weeks. But it's an essential lesson we have to keep working on.
Everything not going according to plan? Joy killer.
Kids not listening to your wisdom? Joy killer.
Work becoming too hard or asking too much? Joy killer.
Relationship gone bad? Joy killer.
But the truth is that joy can't really be squashed, it only gets replaced by another attitude that we choose to put in it's place. Rather than joy, we choose pity. Rather than joy, we choose sorrow. Rather than joy...you fill in the blank. And when we choose to follow some other path, we can blame the world, we can blame the day, we can blame others...the true responsibility comes back to what my attitude is. As I told my "Ridgies" yesterday, when you put on sack cloth and ashes, at the end of the day all you are left with is...sack cloth and ashes. Your choice. But what does the Bible say the remedy is?