“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” “Put on your big girl panties and get on with it.” You can’t mope around forever…snap out of it.” Ever heard these bits of wisdom from well-meaning people before? You probably agree that it is one thing to spout these adages, but quite often another to act on them. But we try. We put on a smile and push down feelings down because no one wants to be around people who are joyless. So as they say, we fake it.
The Book of Hebrews offers another option. While we can ask for joy and know that God will give it, those nagging circumstances are still there staring you in the face. So there’s this conflict between what you see and what you feel. You want to experience joy. You know God will give it. But there’s this gap in between the two. What’s missing? Faith. It takes faith to experience the joy even when we don’t see it.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.
Hebrews 11: 1
The testimonies of faith are lined up in Hebrews 11 starting with Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah, and others. Each of these regular people was challenged to believe something God promised before they experienced it. But they couldn’t experience it until they believed it. This is a critical distinction because it proves that faking it will not allow us to experience the joy that we desire. To experience the freedom and blessing of God, it is absolutely essential to believe that He is able to do what He has promised.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
So what does all this mean on our journey to joy? God is calling us to be real and authentic with him. He’s not asking that we paste on a smile when we’re feeling sad, confused, or unsure. He is asking that we trust in who He is and His integrity to follow through on His word. We can have joy even when our circumstances don’t appear joyous. God challenges us to be joyful not based on what we see now but on what God said we will see. No need to fake it when we can faith it!