There is such beauty in God’s promises. There’s such joy in following God’s Word that is far greater and fuller than any happiness we could attain. You can be happy with God, but there’s a difference between joy and happiness. I believe the difference is this: when you’re happy, your spirit is smiling. When you’re joyful, your soul is smiling and feeling content. There were lots of times during my episodes of depression when I felt joyful, but not happy.
I can say that it makes me joyful to pray for people. It makes me joyful to know I can pray for them. I know my prayers aren’t in vain. I know God hears them and hears your prayers, too. He does have reasons for not always giving us something we pray for, but since it’s God, we can trust for the best from Him. We can pray differently and diligently, and most of all, we can have faith. God calls us to have charity, to pray for others, but He calls us to have faith more. Sometimes, it’s hard to have faith, so sometimes my prayers feel a little empty. So I struggle in that moment to align my intentions with God’s, but it doesn’t always work. I then pray that God grant my request anyway, because He loves His people and other people shouldn’t have to suffer because of my flaws. I ask Him for help. This is a way to have faith.
Thanking Him for helping you is a way to find faith, and growing in faith is a way to experience joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” Ephesians 2:8
“16 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29621A" data-link="(A)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>Rejoice always, 17 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29622B" data-link="(B)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>pray without ceasing, 18 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29623C" data-link="(C)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18