Lifting gloom

Lasting contentment and joy don't come from a forget-your-troubles, let's-get-happy escapism. Real joy is found in God, and the better we know Him, the greater our joy.

It's easy to say to someone, "Don't be so gloomy" or "Come on, shake it off and join the human race!" Sometimes these light touches can help lift a friend out of a gloomy mood. But in the long run something much deeper is needed. That something is spiritual, and it is right at hand for all of us.

At times the burdens people endure may seem crushing. Some feel helpless before the misery suffered by others and the pressure from their own problems in school, work, marriage, family, or finances. To the heart on which these concerns weigh heavily, flippant encouragement to be cheerful may seem cruel. Still others may cling to gloom, feeling it is the best response they can muster.

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