Joy is defined as a source or cause of great happiness. When our lives are filled with joy it is a result of tapping into the source or cause that provides such great happiness. Genuine joy is not based on my outward circumstances but my inward strength. That strength in my life is supplied by the hope I have in Christ.
When I find myself discouraged or fighting to keep my joy it is an indicator that I’m doing things in my own strength and NOT looking to Him to supply me with the hope that only He can give me that results in a happy life.
Here are 3 ways that I fight for joy in my life:
1. You Have to Find Hope - In the midst of everything that might be going wrong in our lives we have to find hope. I will never forget the definition of hope I first heard as a new Christian at the age of 17. Hope is the confident joyful expectation we can always have in Christ. Hope releases an inward confidence, joy and an expectation that helps me to conquer or overcome any obstacle that is attempting to kill my joy. The reason I can be happy even in the most hopeless situations is because what is attacking my joy from the outside does not determine my outcome when my joy is anchored in hope.
2. You Have to Find Faith - My favorite definition for faith comes from the example of Abraham’s faith described in Romans 4:21. Abraham was fully convinced that what He (God) had promised He (God) was also able to perform! I find faith on a regular basis in two common places and so can you. Faith can be found in God’s promises. Turning the pages of your Bible puts the promises of God right at your finger tips. God’s promises fight the doubt that attempts to dash your dreams. The second place I find faith is in the place of praise. Praise is the language of faith. When I sing God’s praises He raises my expectations and my heart is filled with hope. A couple years ago God spoke to my heart and said the volume of your praise must be louder than the voices of your problems. Praise releases faith to see the victory on the other side of the mountains we are facing.
3. You Have to Find Love - Keeping your joy is much easier when we have a friend walking with us through the things that try to kill our joy. Finding a friend that says the right thing at the right time or maybe having a friend that is just a good listener and can pray with us and for us is key when we our fighting to keep our joy. Unconditional love from a friend brings joylessness to an end! Most people that have lost their joy have lost connection with people that can bring strength to their life.
If you find yourself without joy I encourage you to do whatever it takes to find hope, faith and love in your life this week. Keep fighting, don’t give up because those who seek it will find it!
What are some ways you fight to keep your joy?