If you are missing joy in your life, it is within your reach and responsibility to get it back.
“Joy, just like most fruits of the Spirit, is fortified in our faith, activated by love,
and proven through our response to His Spirit.” – M. Lisa Eckman
If you have been walking with the Lord a long time, you may have forgotten the first time you came to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). As we grow in our intimacy with Jesus through God’s Spirit, like other aspects of human relationships, our joy matures – or it should. Yes, we still experience excitement and elation, but joy grows from a place of learned trust giving birth to the stability of contentment and assurance. If you forget what God has done in your life, your confidence in Him will be weak, and joy will be harder to come by.
Oh, but when it spreads --
Philip is considered the first evangelist and began his ministry just as Saul was getting the hang of persecuting Christians (Acts 8:1-3). When Philip went to Samaria to minister in the city of Somalia, he was walking into an atmosphere of sickness, demon possession, witchcraft, and the occult (Acts 8:9-15). Remember this story? Simon the Sorcerer saw the legitimate miracles and wonders performed by Philip and later tried to buy the power from the apostles after the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Samaritan believers. He was a scam artist. Philip was the real deal, proving God’s goodness everywhere he went.
“Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.” – Acts 8:5-8
Depression and anxiety have skyrocketed because of COVID, even among those who previously didn’t suffer from these disorders. [LE1] There is so much loneliness and loss in the world. We need some Holy Spirit joy in this world today; as followers of Christ, we are responsible for maintaining our trust in God and spreading the joy that comes through our faith in His love.
Jesus says, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9-11, NLT)
If you are missing joy in your life, it is within your reach and responsibility to get it back. Rekindle your enthusiasm for the things of the Lord. Connect with other believers in the house of God, stay in the Word, interact with the Father through prayer, follow His commandments, share the Gospel, and do not move from His love.
[LE1]Banerjee, Debanjan, et al. “'The Dual Pandemic' of Suicide and Covid-19: A Biopsychosocial Narrative of Risks and Prevention.” Psychiatry Research, Elsevier B.V., Jan. 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7672361/.