After 9 months of being very depressed and sulking in my emotions, I’ve spent the last month trying to find joy, or more accurately, SEE the joy that was already there. I’ve been actively looking for Christ in all things, trying to respond to all of my blessings instead of prioritizing negativities. Through coming out of that season I have realized a few things I didn’t understand before:
1. Being selfish can cause a toxic relationship with yourself.
When you’re looking at every day consumed with your pain, your circumstances, your emotions, the way people have been affecting you, you’re actually being a source of toxicity to your life. Like a one-sided relationship, taking and taking, but you don’t have the energy or drive to feed back into yourself. So you get tired, drained, distant from others, and worse…
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
2. God always gives us what we need.
Even though I felt lost during this time, God gave me the right people at the right times. The right experiences, and crossings of the best paths, that have orchestrated me to this point of happiness and joy I now find, even during the storm. God will always supply. He will never leave or abandon us, He has a perfect plan.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
3. Sometimes he gives us more than we need.
The other night I was getting ready to leave for work, and I said to myself “I really want to listen to Hills and Valley’s” Now, my little old 2003 Mitsubishi does not have an AUX so I’m unable to make those selections. I finish getting ready and get in my car, turn on the radio before backing out, and then right before changing the radio station think to myself “No, have faith it will come on!” quickly followed by “Oh wait I’m on the wrong station.” When I clicked to WayFM, sure enough, Hills and Valleys had just started, and I was brought to tears.
I was overwhelmed by how faith and joy found entirely in the Lord made such an impact, even if on the surface that instance seems insignificant, to me it wasn’t, and He knew that. Now, hearing that song on the radio wasn’t something I necessarily needed, but it was something I wanted, and God supplied. I think it’s interesting, I rarely think about the small things, the little joys, the building blocks that make or break a day. And yet, they are crucial to attitude. So often I think about asking God for the answers to my grand life plan, instead of just, with faith, asking… just asking for a little something.
In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.
When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
I’d like to make a small distinction. Faith is FOUNDATIONAL but in this time, I’m not trying to focus in on having faith, I’m trying to point out that sometimes, even when we are faithful, we forget or doubt what it is God will give us when we need only ask.
The second part of this is finding Joy in our God. If Christ is in us and has our heart and soul, then surely we must be joyful. For our joy is found in The Lord. SO with Him, how can we be anything but joyful?
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
There is joy all around us my Loves, and with our Father, joy can be found at all times. Send us some prayer requests if that’s what you need right now.