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This goes to an important distinction between joy, (a fruit of the Spirit), and happiness. Happiness is circumstancial, one can hardly be happy while suffering, but the joy of the LORD not only remains, but is strengthened as we go through our suffering. See Paul's testimony in 2 Corinthians 12; and there's more, but I'll wait to see how this is received.
I even have my own story, but that is not quite so important as the testimonials to be found in scripture.
Suffice to say here that in my youth I broke both legs in a car wreck; which eventually led me to Christian community, and a solid conversion, all within 5 years. And the joy will NEVER END, over that fact alone.
Steve, first I want to say how sorry I am you had to go through what sounds like extremely physically challenging times, and that you found joy in the middle of them. My situation involves emotional pain, which one might think is easier to deal, with but either way is a distraction to the peace we all look for in Christ.
Since asking this question, I have discovered that the amount of peace I find during painful times is directly related to the amount of FAITH I am exhibiting during those times! I have learned that Faith for me is not automatic, I have to PRACTICE it! I have to stop continuously and actively believe that God is next to me, that the Holy Spirit is in me, and that belief in the existence of a Creator is not a philosophy for better living but actually something tangible, and very real. Pain and peace can coexist, but I hang on to God's promises that the pain won't last forever. Thanks again for your heartfelt answer. John
I, also, suffer emotional scars & a mood disorder. Sin affects all of creation in manifold ways. But my 'putter is dying from lack of charge. Suffice it to say, I'm praying friend; and do have more to tell, l8rz. BLESSINGS 2 YOU & ALL U <3, for the evening. . . .