I used to think that if I didn’t feel happy, I must be sinning. So during PMS, all my unhappy feelings were compounded by the guilt and condemnation I felt over my unhappy feelings which only generated more unhappy feelings!
This bit of advice from D. Martyn Lloyd Jones has helped to break that unhappy cycle:
“There is all the difference in the world between rejoicing and feeling happy. The Scripture tells us that we should always rejoice [Phil. 4:4]....To rejoice is a command, yes, but there is all the difference in the world between rejoicing and being happy. You cannot make yourself happy, but you can make yourself rejoice, in the sense that you will always rejoice in the Lord. Happiness is something within ourselves, rejoicing is ‘in the Lord.’ Take the fourth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. There you will find that the great Apostle puts it all very plainly and clearly in that series of extraordinary contrasts which he makes: ‘We are troubled on every side (I don’t think he felt very happy at the moment) yet not distressed’, ‘we are perplexed (he wasn’t feeling happy at all at that point) but not in despair’, ‘persecuted but not forsaken’, ‘cast down, but not destroyed’—and so on. In other words the Apostle does not suggest a kind of happy person in a carnal sense, but he was still rejoicing.”
Happiness is something within ourselves, rejoicing is ‘in the Lord.’ What liberating truth. Our feelings and emotions may fluctuate, but the eternal God never changes, and we can rejoice in Him, no matter what time of the month it is!