The follower of Jesus cannot remain sad. Yes, there are seasons of sadness, but you are not meant to stay there as you walk with the Lord through gloomy times. Instead, be grateful to God for little things such as rain, the warmth of the sun, and the cool of the night. God is the author of all of these and He is forever creating good things for His children: relationships, laughter, a full stomach, a good night’s rest, healthy children, a free nation, and the opportunity to share all of our gifts from God. His blessings elicit smiles on the face of His children. Giving gladness is a vital role of our Heavenly Father; even in the middle of severe sadness, He dispenses gladness.
The gladness of God is uncanny in its ability to keep you poised with a peaceful perspective. People and circumstances can shell out sadness, while Christ’s compassion brings gladness. Therefore, go to God often for the gift of gladness. Receive His roaring laughter (see Job 8:21) as a reminder not to take ourselves, others, or situations too seriously. Fight sadness with gladness so that when you are tempted to torture your mind with sad thoughts, you will choose instead to fill it with glad memories of good things.
Yes, pain is ever-present. Emotional pain may emerge often, your physical pain may be perpetual, and financial pain could be flirting with your peace of mind. Relational pain may be assaulting you with rejection. Pain is a part of life, but do not allow pain to pin you to the mat of victimized living. Pain will try to steal your gladness and replace it with sadness. It will show up on your face as a scowl or a jutting jaw. Be glad instead, and allow the calm of Christ to caress your countenance. Slow down and let your trust in the Lord massage your mind. Trust in Christ brings you glad tidings.
This is why we worship God in place of the things of this world. Anything outside of the Lord has the potential to let you down. Money will fall short and even contribute to sadness. Children can break your heart, and your spouse will make you sad. Friends will fail you, and circumstances can crush your motivation to care. But Christ-followers have a heavenly Father who gives gladness in the middle of sadness. Abandoning yourself to the Lord is like tilling fertile ground for a growing faith and a glad face. You cannot remain sad if you are fully abandoned.
Unconditional surrender to the Savior elicits gladness, and a triumphal spirit comes from being in Christ. Peace and contentment are first cousins and fruits of a glad attitude. Anybody can live a chronically sad life, but those who look to their Savior, cannot help but be glad. He is the giver of all good things that satisfy. Therefore, be glad for the grace of God that gushes from heaven like a generous geyser. See gladness as a result of your resting in the presence of God and engaging with a community of Christ-followers. Allow grace to govern your thinking, because gladness grows in a heart overflowing with gratitude for God’s grace and all His good gifts.