A recent guest on Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, Tricia Thirey, knows pain, loss, and grief, and yet, God challenged her to find the joy in her everyday despite her circumstances. She shared how to find joy even in the midst of pain. If you missed that episode, you can listen here: How to Find Joy Even in the Midst of Pain – Episode 78. I think what all the world needs now is wisdom for how to find joy in life, so I asked Tricia to continue our conversation here.
8 Ways to Find Joy in Life
By Tricia Thirey
Finding joy in life in the midst of pain and difficult circumstances can be a challenge even for the well-equipped. But I have learned over the last several years that looking for reasons to be joyful in the midst of hard times, can go a long way towards changing my perspective.
I struggled for many years with seeing the worst side of every situation. I gave into self-doubt, fear and worry about the unknown. I could put a smile on my face to try to make it through infertility, miscarriages, and loss, but I could not hide my inner pain and turmoil from God, or my husband.
Seeing life through the lens of joy
Anyone who knew my husband, Ben, knew that he lived every moment to the fullest. He refused to let life’s struggles get him down. No matter what he faced, he faced it head on. Thyroid cancer, deployments, multiple rounds of brain cancer and seizures. He could find a way to encourage others through his difficult times. And he was still able to find joy and make others happy in what ended up being the final days of his life.
It was not until after he died that I realized how God had used a decade of his optimism to prepare me for the days ahead in dealing with grief. I realized that I didn’t want my children to grow up seeing the world as broken and hollow through my eyes. I wanted them to grow up seeing it joyful through his.
The verse I chose for his headstone, was 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” I knew when I chose it that it embodied everything that Ben was in life, and it was exactly what I wanted others to say about me as well.
Look for reasons to be joyful every day
It isn’t easy, but God continues to teach me that I can face anything and that He has equipped me to face those difficult moments in advance if only I trust Him. I wake up every day and remind myself that I am not alone because God is still with me on this journey. I strive to embrace Proverbs 31:25 where it states, “she can laugh at the days to come.”
Friends, it is okay to have difficult seasons, but we don’t have to let those difficult seasons dictate who we are for eternity. Instead, we can allow those hard seasons to usher in the opportunity for others to see His strength in us as we continue to look for reasons to be joyful in every single day.
Here are a few ideas that I have found helpful for finding joy when it seems far away.
8 Ways to Find Joy in Life:
- Turn on praise music and listen to the words. Reminders of God’s love can bring a sense of peace and joy, sometimes mixed with healing tears.
- Take time to laugh. Make plans with friends who you know can always cheer you up. Laughter brings great joy.
- Look for the little blessings. These little things can bring me joy and comfort even if it is just for a few moments.
- Look for beauty in creation. It is hard not to smile when you look at a fresh blanket of snow or hold a newborn baby and think of the wonder of God’s world.
- Pray for it. Ask God to help you to choose and find joy, even when you don’t really want to.
- Immerse yourself in the Word of God. The more time you spend in the Word, the more you remember His promises, and the more you see all that He endured so we can live life to the fullest.
- Start a gratitude journal. Trying to look for the good on the hardest days can help us to see more of the things we can be thankful for.
- Share some joy by doing something for someone else. Find a way to be a blessing to others. Share joy through a card, a gift, a phone call, or a smile. Sharing joy with others brings joy to the giver as well.
How have you found joy in your hardest days? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Tricia Thirey
Tricia Thirey is a mom to three and an educator in the DFW area. A former military spouse, she lost her husband to brain cancer after a 4.5 year battle in the summer of 2017.
During the last year of his life, she felt the Lord calling her to live a life of joy, and now she makes it her everyday purpose to try to instill that joy into her eight-year-old twins and six-year-old daughter.
The award-winning book, Breaking Anxiety’s Grip
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
We can discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
In Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others. She reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
“As a woman who has fought anxiety most of her life, I’ve come to believe if you’re in a battle, it’s not a reason for guilt or shame. It simply means you’re a warrior. I’ve also learned having the right weapons helps me win. Breaking Anxiety’s Grip will encourage and equip you to defeat fear and experience more victory.” ~ Holley Gerth, Bestselling author of What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com, Books-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.
Click here to learn more: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip.
Amazing message, Tricia! so precious to keep a Gratitude Journal!! I love all your ideas to help us Find Joy. The music, the lyrics and the heart of JOY. Thank you, Tricia, and Dr. Michelle! Tricia, I will be sharing this blog?
Thank you for this beautiful post and the wonderful suggestions for finding joy.
This is much needed advice for so many today. Love the gratitude and helping others suggestions. Thanks for sharing!
Loved this post. People need to know that they CAN find joy even in the midst of life’s heartaches and challenges. God can supernaturally give it. Thank you so much.
Great shot of realism here. Sometimes we do have to go looking for joy!
Thanks for sharing this story. I like that her points are simple and uncomplicated, although sometimes doing them is not so simple. But that’s when we need to do them the most. Good reminders.