I was chatting on the phone with my mom this last Sabbath like I always do. The topics of joy and forgiveness came up.
God tells us that if we ourselves want to be forgiving, then we also must forgive, but I will get back to this.
Now, this study and focus on joy that I am doing, is coming at a very good time in my life. There are so many things that are easy for me to be joyful about. My husband, my children, planning my kitchen, etc, etc etc. But there is also something that I am fighting with. We all fight with things, I say fight, but really mean struggle. Yes, struggle is the right word.
So many times God will lay something on our hearts, something that we personally need to work on. Either in a message, our personal study or though what is going on in our lives at that time. It's joy for me. Now, being joyful is easy when everyone is happy, content, and everything is "right" in my world, but when it's not...lets just say I can less then joyful.
I have not been sleeping well, and since I am a person who needs 8 hours to fully function and not get sick at every cold bug that find is way to me, this has been a hard thing. I got sick at Thanksgiving (for 3 weeks with a nasty cough) and then got another cold after my mom and sister left from their visit. I am never sick this much. Because of getting sick so much, my sleep is all wonky. Now, no matter what I do, my body is stuck in a rut. I can not sleep at night, even though I am so very tired. I am not saying this for sympathy but to go back to my struggle...finding joy even when things aren't right. When I am tired, I am crabby. Always have been. During this last month and 1/2 of not sleeping right, I have been learning to find joy, even when I am tired.
Now, back to forgiveness. I have been having to humble myself (not at all easy) though this time and when I am less then joyful (read crabby and not at all pleasant) have been having to ask forgiveness and make it my focus to change my attitude. Having to do this, has brought me joy.
So, even thought its hard (oh, so hard!) to ask forgiveness, and even though we want to drag our feet, kick and stomp and throw a fit (of course not physically, but in our minds and attitudes) not wanting to, we also have to forgive those who hurt us. In doing this, God will forgive us, and that brings great joy!