A guest post by Ailie Baumann
I’ve lost my joy, I think to myself. The overwhelming stress of my new surroundings seems to have suppressed every bone in my body that held an ounce of joy. The weather outside reflects my emotional and spiritual state – bleak and grey.
I’ve regularly experienced degrees of anxiety. Not enough to have an anxiety issue or disorder. Still, anxiety, stress, overwhelm, and fear have been unwanted companions for a long time. Mostly, I excuse them away with claims of “I’m an introvert” or “I just need familiarity”.
These unwelcome companions are stealers of my joy, of your joy. They work together to reduce our world into a limited circle of familiar faces, places, and routine. Instead of stepping out in faith, we huddle in comfort zones while longing for change and adventure.
The worst part of it lies in the shocking reality that in those uncomfortable times in life, I have called these “unwanted companions” back into my life. Why? Because of sheer desperation to feel normal or return my internal experience back to what I’m accustomed to.
Does it work? No. For weeks, I have cried on and off to the Lord desperate for freedom from these illogical waves of anxiety. My desperation for joy turns my prayers into shallow and hollow sentences bouncing off walls. I’ve forgotten His truth.
What is Satan’s plan in all this?
In all of this, the enemy plays with my mind. Familiar thought patterns whirl round and round. Each thought requires deliberate action to take it captive and submit it to Christ. The enemy wants you and me to remain captive in familiarity, fear, anxiety, stress, and doubt. He wants us to remain in our comfort zones, frustrated with life and blaming God for the lack of impact our lives have on those around us.
The result: Ineffective Christian women who have lost sight of who they are in Christ. This ripples into a lack of joy and loss of purpose. We no longer pose a threat to the kingdom of darkness. No, we are right where Satan wants us to be – sitting on the fence licking our wounds.
God’s truth is empowering
In this moment, I can blame God, others, circumstances, myself; or, I can listen to the voice of the Lord as He reminds me of His truth.
- You and I are no longer slaves to sin, our past, circumstances, etc. We belong to Him. God decided we were so worth loving that we were literally worth dying for. (Galatians 4:4-7)
- Christ in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Our hope is in Christ Jesus who lives in us. In Him we live and move and have our being. We are supposed to find our familiarity in the presence of God. His love, peace, joy, grace, goodness, majesty are our familiarity no matter what we go through.
- You and I are children of God, co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We get to have every spiritual blessing in heaven (Ephesians 1:3). We are blessed forever and ever. Our generations are blessed.
- You and I are in right-standing with God. (Romans 5:1)
But how do I get joy?
I’ve wrestled with this question myself. Here’s what I’ve concluded thus far:
Firstly, we have a choice to make. We can either continue to mope and struggle in our lack of joy and be dictated to by our circumstances and emotions. Or, we can choose to renew our minds by believing what God has to say about us, others, and our situations. The choice is ours to make. Either way, He remains with us, ever faithful.
Secondly, joy is a fruit that we bear. Have you ever seen a tree or plant convincing itself to bear fruit? (I’m having a good laugh out loud right now so come on join me in a good giggle.) Ridiculous right?
A tree bears fruit in its season, not a moment sooner or later. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. We can’t make joy by going to church every Sunday, being involved in multiple church events, activities or meetings (as great as those are). We get joy as we abide in Him and He abides in us. It comes out of us naturally. We can’t make ourselves have joy.
Maybe you are like me and today, you are in a season of growth and development. Maybe you are not seeing joy in your life (according to your expectation) because God is busy pruning you so that you may have an even greater harvest of joy.
Either way, joy is coming so long as you are resting in the presence of God.
Here are 5 Scriptures to get your joy back
To encourage you to persevere through your situation and remain in the joy of the Lord, here are some amazing Scriptures:
- Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b
- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit Romans 15:13
- For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
- TheLord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of Isaiah 51:3
- Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for the Psalm 126:2
I encourage you to memorize, meditate, and soak in these Scriptures until the truth of God’s Word breaks any hold the enemy has over today’s joy. You can get your joy back. Today.
Online Christian Coach, blogger, wife and mum, Ailie is passionate about helping women discover their value, purpose, and self-worth in Jesus. Using life coaching techniques, counseling, and prayer, she walks with you every step of the way encouraging you as you encounter the unique way God speaks to You!