Are You Happy? Devotions from Time of Grace

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

We’re depressed . . . 


Everything I read says that depression is through the roof—men, women, the elderly, and even kids. Logically, a person would assume that people in the worst circumstances would be the most depressed. Here’s an example of some of the worst circumstances from the life of the apostle Paul: 


[I have] been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea” (2 Corinthians 11:23-25). The list, as you can imagine, goes on. 


I used to think that the devil worked in suffering. I figured that in suffering we are the most susceptible to his temptations. However, in my experience, the people who’ve found contentment, the ones who find joy in God, are often the ones who are suffering. It seems that when people have everything, it’s hard to distinguish what actually matters. In this sense, suffering is a gift because it strips away everything and anything that doesn’t really matter.  


Are you suffering right now? If so, know this, sometimes the door you walk through to find joy is suffering. Or how did the writer of Hebrews describe Jesus’ ministry? “For the joy set before him, he endured the cross” (12:2).