Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. — Psalm 5:11-12

I moderate an online group for people with leiomyosarcoma (LMS). A new person recently posted that “everyone” says she needs to be happy and remain positive in order to give herself a chance of beating what is considered an incurable cancer.

Happiness depends on the circumstances of the day. Being “happy” when you have just begun a cancer journey, or any other life-altering event, is impossible. We are bombarded with bad news. Looks of sympathy. Treatments that make us sick. Exhaustion, emotional stress. And then someone tells you need to be happy? I can assure you that advice is always from someone who has never had a significant health crisis.

Do you know the word happy is used in the Bible 20 times while joy appears 242 times (NIV)? God did not make us to desire happiness, but to long for joy.

In moments of trials, do not waste your time pursuing elusive happiness. Instead, rest and let God pursue you, give you His favor and bring you the joy that comes when you know that you have been blessed with righteousness. Real joy from God lasts a lifetime, even in the midst of trials. It does not ebb and flow with circumstances. It will bring you peace, even when you are in the midst of a storm.

Joy will always beat cancer. Always!

Joy from the Lord, dear friends, is forever.

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