Long time ago – back when we were first pastoring, our supervisor, Doc Wymore and his wife, Betty, came to visit one Sunday.
This was a BIG deal, and I wanted to make a good impression: I cooked a traditional Sunday roast for our honored guests.
Was it amazing? Uh… let’s just say that I’d underestimated the roasting time. Doc fell asleep waiting to eat. When “lunch” was finally served we ended up rushing through the meal. They hurried out the door to make the long trek home, arriving just before midnight.
Not my best moment in creating a good first impression. The disappointment lingered for days.
Of course I lived through it. Just like I lived through the grief of two miscarriages, the death of my parents, the rejection of long-time friends, and the scary journey of cancer. (Not to mention the trials and tribulations of raising 6 kids.)
How about you?
How do you handle little disappointments or big life dramas?
Does discouragement, family squabbles, grief, rejection, or scary news send you into Mordor, gripping your soul and coloring your world gray?
If so, that’s a problem. These experiences can suck the joy out of your life – if you let them.
But you don’t have to. Joy was meant to carry you through the hard times.
Here’s your first step towards joy:
Stop your catastrophic thinking, even if what you’re going through is horrible… or not so horrible. Just. Stop.
God is there, right behind you. Folding His arms around you. His mighty warrior angels are surrounding you. You are not alone. There’s a bigger world of majesty engulfing you. This is YOUR reality. Don’t forget it.
Now, start thinking about your struggle as an opportunity for joy to invade your life.
After all, I just described for you the reality of being in God’s presence.
You know that in his presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). You want to grab onto that joy.
Next, keep your focus on joy
Jesus chose to face His crucifixion by focusing on the joy that was waiting for him at the end of his mission.
“For the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).
Decide, today, that you are stronger than the darkness depleting your joy. Because Jesus is greater than the darkness, and He lives inside you. Hang out with Him. Keep your focus on joy. Marinade your soul in Him.
You’ll feel so much better. (Take it from a girl who’s seen her share of darkness.)
If Corrie ten Boom can live through the Nazi holocaust and forgive her Nazi concentration camp guard, YOU can find joy in the midst of your darkness.
If Elisabeth Elliot can love and serve the Waorani Indians who murdered her missionary husband, Jim Elliot, YOU can find purpose and joy in the mist of your struggles.
If you want to keep your focus on joy and haven’t signed up yet – come join me for 5 days to Reboot Into Joy (totally free). We start May 2nd.
Each day, I’ll guide you through a short activity for joyful soul care, all designed to get you back into God’s presence and feeling His joy sparkle your life.
You’ll hear my joy-sucking tales and joy dancing stories because each activity I share with you pulled me out of a dark time in my life.
Think of it as a spiritual spa appointment. We’ll massage the grayness right out of your life and rub joy all over your tired soul.
Join me HERE.
Let’s build you a legacy that tells the world you’re coloring your life with joy.
This Post Has One Comment
Thank you, Susan. I was just thinking how remarkable it is that, as we grow older, the perseverance of our trials seems to just tire us out. When I was younger, it was easier to “bounce back” from discouragement. You’d think we’d have a thicker-skin, but it just seems to add another straw to the collective ‘back.’ I know our joy is in what Jesus accomplished at the cross. Thank you for helping.