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When I was little, there was a song the church choir used to sing: “Don’t wait till the battle’s over to shout now. You know in the end you’re gonna win.” I loved that song because it encouraged you to celebrate victory even in the midst of the battle, in the midst of problems. For many of us, we think happiness is not an option in the midst of challenges. We can’t smile until circumstances are resolved or the problems have been solved. What a waste of a day. We find it impossible to enjoy life while we’re drenched in frustration and weighted down by adversities. So each new day becomes a wasted opportunity, an unopened discarded gift. If we’re tossing our days away to anger, hurt, frustration and sadness, it’s a total defeat of the purpose of life.

If you’re waiting for everything in life to be perfect or the way you want things to be in order to be happy, you’ll never truly be happy and you’ll never be able to enjoy the precious gift of a new day. We live in a whole with problems. That’s the nature of the place we call earth. But we must make a conscious choice to maintain our joy, even in sorrow and our peace even in the midst of turmoil. This must be a moment by moment decision.

There are times when we just want to bury our heads under the covers until the problems in our lives are solved and we feel validated and appreciated. But we can’t allow outward circumstances to continually, habitually dictate our inner peace and daily joy. We have to give those situations to God, trust Him with them and commit to making the most out of the day we’re given. We must smile through the pain. We must find purpose in the day and pursue that purpose.

Enjoy your life. You’re not guaranteed another month or day to waste in anger, sadness, frustration and heartbreak. Enjoy your life today, problems and all. So don’t wait until the battle is over to smile, to be happy. Embracing each day with joy is the perfect response to the gift of a new day; it’s the universal expression of gratitude. No matter what the day brings, commit to being happy. Don’t wait for sunshine; go ahead and dance in the rain. Don’t postpone those moments to be happy. The next one may never come.