I love these three verses - they are some of my favourites. Even though they are small they say so much. In the Easy to Read Version verse 16 says, always be full of joy. The Greek word in the original text means to be cheerful. I received a note in my pigeon hole at work this week that said thank "for always being so happy and friendly." The truth is that I haven't felt very happy recently - I have felt emotional and down. That doesn't mean I have to act that way though. I'm not suggesting you ignore your emotions - that's not healthy. You can sit with them for a while and acknowledge them, maybe even journal about them. But you don't have to be led by them. I know some really cheerful people at the moment who are going through some incredibly difficult things.
When I feel down, I try to think of all the things that I'm grateful for, I try to get outside in the fresh air, I put some worship music on and sing along loudly. I know that God has great plans for me and even if this life is difficult, Revelation promises that there will be no tears or sadness in the new heaven and earth - that's something to be cheerful about!
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.