Get Your Joy Back
Not long ago, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University published the “World Happiness Report”. The report showed that the United States, one of the world’s economically richest countries came in #20 on the Happiness Scale; and our level of happiness has gone down since 2020. https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2021/
The findings from that report remind us of Jesus words in Luke 12, “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” “Christ-followers” understand that joy and happiness are not the same. , “Am I relying on my happiness, or does my strength come from the joy of the Lord?”
The word “joy” is used 93 times in the O.T. It’s a Hebrew word that means “glee” or “exceeding joy.” God wants you to be joyful! Perhaps, you feel as if you have lost your joy; how do you get your joy back?
Let’s face it for most of us the idea of living a life full of joy is a major challenge especially in light of COVID, the political climate, challenges with our kids schooling and the economic challenges but God has joy as part of the fruit of the Spirit so we must be able to maintain it somehow. Let me show you what God has to say about it so it may help
-.Joy is part of God’s nature given through the Holy Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” (NKJV)
As Paul writes this, he is describing for us what we look like when we are filled with God’s Spirit. Why? Because joy is part of the very nature of God….We could easily say God is Joy
If you are missing your joy at the very basics choose to allow the Lord to bring you to a place of peace so he can fill you in a new and fresh way to restore His joy in you.
Happiness is fleeting and depends upon emotion joy endures and depends upon God working in us.
Here are some of the ways we can get our joy back…
-Joy is something God can restore
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
There is so much hope in this scripture. For me part of the hope has been that even David lost his joy, the man who was a man after God’s own heart lost his joy! But we have learned that God can restore it.
Just simply surrender to the Lord and cry out like David does here and ask for your joy to be restored but notice why are joy can be stolen from us….
“make me willing to obey you”
I have found it is easy for me to lose my joy when I am fighting against God most of the time, if I’m honest with myself, I know when I am fighting against God but there are still times when I need to go to him, when I have lost my joy and say, “God have I blow it somewhere?” In a very loving and caring way He shows me what I have to do or where I have missed the mark.
Joy is part of who he is so if I am missing joy it is because I may be missing him….but he wants us to have joy so he will show us what we need if we are honest.
God always wants us full of joy and he will restore it when we need it.
– Joy is found just being with the Lord
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
How do you feel when you are around someone you love? I’ll bet joy is one of the words you would use to describe it.
So much can pull us away from the one who loves us the most. The busy-ness of life- getting the kids and grandkids to all the places they need to go. Adjusting life to all of the demands of the new normal with work and home life, worrying about what the future holds.
Very practically, I need you to think about all of the influences in your life and recognize how they impact you. I know I pick on social media and the news a lot but they deserve to be picked on because I wonder how fearful everyone would have been if they had not been hit every minute of the day with the trolling death and infection rates if perhaps the recovery rates would have been posted instead.
How many negative people do you have in your life? We all have them but we need to acknowledge the impact that they have on us.
It doesn’t take long for negativity to overwhelm us but thank God the reverse is true.
Coming into the Lord’s presence every day, spending time in his love letter to us. Talking with Him about how He feels about things in the news, in my life, with others who are struggling lift me up because I am in presence of the one who loves me the most and I know he loves me the most so that restore sense that we can always overcome brings me joy…
This next point may add to helping with the joy of his presence
– Joy is found in knowing and living God’s Word
“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name,….”
The Bible tells us that God’s word is living and powerful Hebrews 4:12 tells us. When we know and understand that it brings us joy…you might be saying how….
God’s word is truth and as we read it and understand it, we can easily understand the difference between the enemies lies and God’s truth
When others tell us we have no value – we see in God’s word that Christ died for us
When the enemy lies and says we are no good, or useless – God’s word tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made
When the enemy tells me I am all alone – God’s word tells me I am his child
When people or the enemy tells me I can’t….God word tells me I can do all things through Christ
The enemy and people play dirty, they know where to hit you but you can stand firm and hit right back if you know what his word has to say and your joy will be full because it is his word of truth bring life to you
-Joy is the result of speaking and using wisdom
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! (ESV)
No one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings purposefully but if you are walking on egg shells around people all of the time sooner or later your joy with that person and in that situation will be stolen from you.
Wisdom is a combination of truth, grace and love and when we learn to always handle family difficulties, and all relationship with wisdom, people might not like what we say at first but eventually there will be peace because it is done with love.
Many times in counseling..one of the keys to freedom is this proverb, getting people to a place of gently, lovingly speaking the truth, can restore joy, at least yours so you can let the situation go knowing you have done all you can do.
-Joy is found in answered prayer
You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
If you are using wisdom to help speak truth before you get your full joy you might need to spend time in prayer….
When I think about the times of answered prayer in my life it brings me great joy.
I know some have prayed in the past and have been frustrated by the lack of answers but often no answer, is an answer….
You are the one the Lord loves the most and just like you with your children or grandchildren The Lord loves to a help you, bless you, and meet you where you are to help you grow.
He does that through communication, through prayer and answering those prayers
-Joy can overflow us as we remember those answers and all He has done for you
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. (NLT)
As I mentioned in my last point answered prayer definitely brings joy but when you are going through difficult times stop, take a breath and remember all the blessings in your life.
COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS
We know David rehearsed his victories, I am sure Joshua reminded the people of Jericho, Passover is about remember how God delivered Israel and Easter about our deliverance.
Joy returns as we remember all the Lord has done in us, for us, and through us!
It the Father’s heart that we have joy…
It is part of his very nature so as he lives in us we have joy…not something temporary or dependent on circumstances but something permanent that depends on him
- Spend time with him through talking with Him and being in His word
- Remember all of the good things He has done for you
- Move in wisdom to help free others and yourself
- Realize what is robbing you of your joy and apply God’s word to it
Start today, come and allow someone to pray for you to start new with your joy!