The owner of a certain restaurant greeted me with a big hello, and said, “You are always happy and you always have a big smile on your face.” I was encouraged by his comment, so I responded with a courteous “thank you.” However, his comment snagged my attention causing me to pause for a brief moment only to think about my childhood.
When I was growing up as a young girl, I remember that most people called me, “Smiley.” However, smiling for me was part of my family trait and in most cases we could be identified as siblings just by our infectious smile.
Unlike my childhood, life experiences have definitely tested my smiley face.  So do I put on a good face and pretend like everything is ok?
“Let’s not get it twisted.” I may not always be happy with the things that transpire in my life, but now I certainly understand what it means to “count it all joy.”  It’s my choice to have joy-----and the joy that’s in my heart shows on my face.
I don’t think that Jesus was necessarily “happy” while suffering a cruel death, but I would imagine that He still had joy in spite of it all.  The Bible explains it best in Hebrews 12:2. “For the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Don’t give up my friend.  Don’t allow your situation to be a joy buster.  You may feel that no matter how hard you try, life’s challenges seems to become more complicated.  But during these times James encourages you to……. “reJOYce” when test and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  (James 1:2-4)  
No matter what it looks like in the natural, no matter how dim it may seem, hold your chin high and put a big smile on your face and let your joy shine through.  
 Carolyn Crow is a writer for the Siftings Herald and can be reached at crowcjo@gmail.com