“The hope of righteous people leads to joy, but the eager waiting of wicked people comes to nothing.” GW Proverbs 10:28
Being completely transparent: I lost my joy, again.
It made me wonder, did I ever have it back to begin with? I mean, after having such and awful breakup when I was single, I sat down with God for a season to get myself together. (Read about it here.) God mended me, I became better as He repaired every broken piece of my story. I chose to allow Jesus as a part of my every day life, and life got better for me. I had joy.
So I wondered, why was I at this sunken, lonely place, again? It seemed my life was perfect on paper. Married, business owner, travelling, new family, new baby. It seemed as if all my prayers were answered. So why wasn’t I filled with God’s joy?
So many of us are walking around with so much on our shoulders. Some of us are really maxed out to our capacity with so much that goes on in our own individual lives. We prioritize based on what we deem as important in our own lives. And some of us, like myself, do everything based on our own strength, and not Gods. (Burnout, fatigue and stress are some consequences of doing in our own strength.) And what I realized is that my eggs were not in Gods basket anymore. I wasn’t truly communing with Him. I was depending my own happiness based on other things, and not the One who could truly satisfy the void.
What I realized is happiness doesn’t equate to joy. Happiness is a daily emotion we experience. Joy is a lifestyle based on our good and bad experiences. Joy comes from God and God only. The joy that God gives, can’t be given or taken away by other things and people because true joy is sent only from the One above. The world can’t give it and the world can’t take it away. I let things, people and circumstances dictate my mood and behavior until it started to become a pattern of everyday unhappiness. I didn’t try to see the good anymore I just looked constantly for the bad. Searching for reason to get upset. And many of us do it, unknowingly, because we are dissatisfied with life that we look for dissatisfaction.
I depended on other things for joy. And this is when I began to take my eggs out of Gods basket, and started to put them in other baskets, hoping that could find me joy. But true joy is putting all of your eggs in God’s basket. Meaning, putting all of your hope, faith, belief, circumstances, hard times, good times, family, friends – EVERYTHING in Gods basket. With this plan, you cannot go wrong with your life. Some of us want to put a few eggs, or none at all in Gods basket, and expect to live a joyful life. But so many of us are covering up our sorrow with things that make us happy for the moment. I believe there are plenty of people on social media you see flaunt so much, but yet empty on the inside. And that is how I was, when I emptied out all of my eggs out of Gods basket, I was emptying me.
I’m learning you have to see the good. And this is a learned trait that won’t happen immediately, and you definitely have to be intentional about. When you are used to seeing the bad, you aren’t trained to see the good. “The good” in most situations is just looking to Jesus. He is always good. He is always fair. He is always just. He always understands. He’s always willing to help. But in that split second to either see the worst in the situation or see the good, you have to be conscious enough to choose to see the good. If there is nothing good in the situation, what was there good in your day? Or week? What good can you focus on to get your mind off the bad?
Sometimes, and if God gives you green light, eliminate all together the things that are pulling you down. I believe God doesn’t want us to live in suffering, dissatisfaction etc. Some things we put on ourselves that causes us to lose joy. A job we shouldn’t have applied for that makes us miserable, but we needed the extra money, so went after it and was hired. Sometimes, it’s what we put on ourselves keeps us from experiencing the joy God wants us to experience.
A prayer for Joy:
Father in the name of Jesus, I pray a special prayer of deliverance over myself, to help me be released from the yokes of bondage. God I release to you whatever is holding me back from experiencing a joyful life. I may be brokenhearted, in sorrow, in distress or in despair, but God I know you are looking after me day by day. Help me to find and see the good in all bad situations, people and circumstances. Open my eyes to see the bits of joy you placed in each and every day. Continue to show yourself to me, and allow me to see and hear you everyday. I declare I live in joy from this day forward, and help me to take action into how I can be free. In Jesus name I pray, amen.