Do You Ever Feel Like Your Joy Has Been Stolen?
What do we do when our joy seems lost? How do we recover?
This month my focus is on JOY! I’ve realized I have allowed Satan to steal my joy. Yes, there have been circumstances that have provoked me to give up my joy, but in the end, it was my decision. I may not be able to control what happens to me, but I’m responsible for controlling my reaction. And I admit, I have allowed my joy to be taken. Now, because the Holy Spirit lives in me and one of his fruits is joy, the good news is, I don’t have to look far to receive it. However, I must cultivate it. It’s a fruit. And like any natural plant, there’s a process before the harvest is ready. It must be cultivated, pruned, watered and taken care of.
Joy doesn’t come easy sometimes. In order to get joy, sometimes we go through situations that seem hard in order for our joy to be made complete in us. Just like when praying to have peace, we often times walk through a chaotic situation. Why? Why is it when we desire to be like Jesus, we must first walk it out? Because gold is only pure when going through the fire. Our fruit and godly characteristics are only perfected when tested. Romans 5:3b-4 (NIV) says, “because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Choose this month to be all about joy. Explosive joy. Strengthening joy. Cup running over joy. Holy Spirit joy. Joy in all things. But in order for me to receive joy, I must first give up whatever has taken its place. Bitterness, hurt, resentment, rejection, depression, loneliness. All these and much more can take the place of joy. So, before I position myself to receive the joy of the Lord, (because joy is ONLY found in Him), I need to position my heart and mind to release myself from the bondage that keeps me from having joy. The law of giving and receiving. If I give something away, I will receive something else in its place.
And I don’t want to just experience joy. I want to possess it. I want it to be part of who I am. I want it attached to my identity as a daughter of the Living God.
This joy I speak of only comes from Jesus. He is our portion. Psalm 73:26- My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
That’s where I’m at. I’m choosing to let go of hurt I’ve built up. I’m choosing to let go of bitterness I’ve let fester. I’m choosing to let go of mindsets I’ve let take root. I’m surrendering! It takes Jesus in my everyday life to walk this road.
So how do we choose to let go?
Repentance. You acknowledge your sin, and you confess you want no part of it anymore.
Forgiveness. You acknowledge the hurt you’ve had, and you forgive that person, yourself or sometimes God for disappointments along the way.
The word of God. Fill your mind with life giving words.
Speaking the word of God. Verbally remind yourself that you are a new creation. You are not hurt or bitter. You are not angry or lonely. You are full of joy. You walk in it. You share it.