Elaina Simpson, C.S.
The joy that replaces hopelessness
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
By: Elaina Simpson, C.S.
Hopelessness is something that a lot of people have been praying about recently.-- A seeming heavyweight of despair, sorrow, and a seeming lack of hope that can, at times, feel unmovable.
When I’ve felt this way, instead of trying to pray out of the pit of hopelessness, it’s helped me to pray to learn more about our joy, found in our expression of God. In prayer, it’s been apparent that joy is a helpful focus, as joy eliminates all feelings of hopelessness. It’s not about ignoring feelings and simply putting on a happy face.
Joy is a gift that comes from God. Because joy originates from God and is limitless, it is not affected by person, thing, pandemic, political disagreements. Joy isn’t something limited that is here one day and not the next. It’s also not later when x, y, or z happens, and it’s not something we have to work to find again. We don’t swing between joy and hopelessness. Joy is now, and uninterrupted since we fully and completely express God. This idea applied prayerfully benefits our whole experience.
Once when I felt like everything was going wrong, I remembered what’s written in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “...that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy…” (Mary Baker Eddy, 304) Staying joyful helped me feel a sense of dominion over the challenges rather than feeling steamrolled by them, and this prayer unfolded a grateful and lighthearted attitude. This clarity in prayer helped heal the issues, as it shifted my perspective. Joy is contagious, and I noticed that others around me felt this joy, too.
As Isaiah says, today and every day, we can proceed “with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10) Have a lovely evening,
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