the Priest at my Parrish is a good steward for those of us in his flock. He leads us faithfully and cares about our spiritual lives. He often preaches about following God I our every day lives, and how to discern that we are in fact on the path God has chosen for us. He says that when we follow the path God has chosen we will know because we will feel joy and happiness. I wonder if this is true, or perhaps because of my dealing with depression where happiness is not something I feel on a regular basis, even when I believe I am following God.
I would contend that when you follow God you are not promised happiness, or even joy. Those who follow God are not immune from sadness and suffering in their lives. What people who follow God do have amid the sadness and suffering though is a peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). Even though there is darkness and pain and you feel no happiness, you feel a deep sense of peace that God is there with you in the darkness.
There is a definition of faith that says it is having belief that things will work out when all evidence is to the contrary. That kind of belief comes with a great sense of peace. As the healing happens, the peace is enough. The joy will come, perhaps, but I have learned not to depend on feelings of joy.
Each day I do my best to do God’s will, and each day I do my best to live in this world as it is and not as I wish it were. I can live with feeling a sense of peace in my life.