Joy is generally hard to come by at times of crisis. When everything around you is falling apart, and the world feels like it's falling apart with people being infected and some clinging to life from the terrible virus that has taken over their bodies, joy can seem nearly impossible to find.
However, joy can be found at any time—with a little bit of effort. So how do you find it during the Covid-19 pandemic?
1. Be grateful
No matter what is going on in your life, there are things you have to be grateful for. For example, if you're physically ill from the Covid-19 pandemic or having to work from home, being thankful for the fact that you still have a home to be gainfully employed from. Also, if you are sick and everything seems terrible all around you, be grateful that you have your life and family to support you.
Why? Because at least you're physically ill from a relatively short-term virus rather than one that leads to decades of suffering or even death. You may have to deal with some difficulties, but you're not facing agonizing pain or the inability to have a normal life for years. You can move past this and be grateful that it isn't worse than what it is.
2. Remember God is in control
Even under the most terrible circumstances, God is in control. You can trust Him to be there with you and help you through it no matter what happens. Remember that God is still in control rather than feeling like your life has been taken over by an awful virus or even that the world is ending around you. Remember God’s promise John 14:27 NIV, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
3. Focus on the positive
If you find that you're focused on the negative aspects of living with Covid-19, make a conscious effort to shift your focus. Instead, focus on anything positive around you or in your life. Look for small things, like the sounds of the birds singing or the smiling face of a family member or friend. By focusing on these small things, you'll find that it gets easier to recognize positive aspects around you and in your own life.
4. Make more time for others
Spending time with other people is one of the best ways to be happy—even if they aren't feeling particularly positive or upbeat. When you're with other people, particularly your friends and family, be an encouragement to them by focusing on the positive aspects of life during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can encourage others without lying about how you feel (as long as you don't say things that will make them worry more than they need to). For example, you can share small things that are positive in your life and help others focus on those rather than the negative aspects.
5. Think of ways to help others
If you're feeling particularly down during the Covid-19 pandemic, get involved in helping others in any way that you can. Whether it's helping a neighbor clean out their garage or assisting your church in helping others in need, giving of yourself can not only lift you up but also those around you. As you give, focus on God's provision for all people.
6. Make time to relax
Many people don't find it easy to make time for rest and relaxation, especially during a pandemic. However, this is crucial to your mental health and spiritual well-being. So make sure that you get some downtime every day.
For example, you might want to sit down outside in the shade when it's warm out or take a relaxing bath if other activities or commitments haven't given you a chance to relax. If you can't get some time off during the day, consider doing something fun in the evening before bedtime.
7. Focus on God as your healer
During times of illness, it's easy to worry that you aren't going to recover or that this pandemic will never end. Rather than focusing on what makes you feel bad about yourself or the virus running rampant around you, focus on God as your healer. When you're sick, rest in the knowledge that He offers healing and restoration to His children. Let the feeling of security that the same God who raised Christ from the dead is ready and able to heal you and bring you comfort. Remember 3 John 1:2, "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."
8. Spend time in the Word
Spending time in the Word can be a great way to draw closer to God and help you have peace when dealing with illness. Read scripture aloud, listen to an audio recording, or even memorize verses that bring you comfort during times of trouble. Take the time to be still and quiet so that you can listen for God in the Word, drawing on its strength when you're feeling weak.
9. Be a light in the darkness
As believers, we're called to be a light of optimism and hope for others during the Covid-19 pandemic and in all areas of our lives. When you find that others are feeling down or depressed during this time, share your own experiences with being down and how you found your joy and comfort. Be a blessing to them by sharing from your heart how God has provided strength for you and hope for them. Be a beacon of positivity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and you'll have the opportunity to point others to Jesus.
10. Never give up hope!
Never forget that there are people who care about you and pray for you throughout this challenging time. You never know when someone will bring a meal over to your house or keep you company on a sick day. The words of God recorded in Deuteronomy 31:6 still applies today as we face insurmountable challenges: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” So don't give up hope during the Covid-19 pandemic, and remember that God is with you every step of the way!
By God’s Grace, choose joy.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about how to find joy during the Covid-19 pandemic? What things have you done to bring a little joy to your life? What has helped you the most in enjoying the smallest blessings God has given you?
As always, I'm so thankful for each of you and look forward to hearing from you.