8 Ways I Will Fight for Joy

7 Nov

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I drew the photo above. I’m not artistic, but it is fun. I will fight for joy!
I have days where I struggle. Days where I just can’t stand myself. Days where I look at my actions and behaviors and wonder when I’m going to get it all right. Or at least most of it.

Here’s the thing: It’s a struggle for me sometimes just to smile. It’s a struggle for me to be happy.

I want to feel the joy of The Lord. I try to remind myself when I’m feeling blue. But it takes all that I have in me sometimes. It’s frustrating to have to strive for joy. In Hebrews 4:11, we are told that “For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” So, if the writers of Hebrews knew we would have to strive for rest, perhaps striving for joy isn’t as outlandish as I thought!

So, how can I do a better job fighting for my joy?

1. I have to be diligent about my battle. In 1 Cor 9:26-27 Paul writes, “That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.”

I can’t waste my punches or my energy. If I’m putting myself in situations that bring me down, either with my thoughts, my social circles, or my spare time, I am wasting my punches. I have to surround myself with what brings me joy.

2. I have to remind myself about what God says about me.

The scriptures are full of His promises and plans for my life. (See Jer 29:11-12, Psalm 139, Eph. 1 [one of my favorites] just to name a few). If I walk around unable to see the wonderful things about me, I not only do myself a disservice, but I am also being ungrateful toward the Lord and what He has done in my life.

3. While we are taking about gratitude, one of the best ways to fight for joy is to be thankful.

In Psalm 100:4 the writer says we [get to] “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” I wanna go hang out in the King’s courts! Let’s go!

This also shifts my perspective. I definitely need that!

4. Encourage someone else.

A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4 NASB)

For me, encouraging someone is not the most difficult act. It is my number one love language. I’m glad it is, too. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in my own stuff (my English professors are screaming now) that I forget how powerful a word of encouragement can be to the encourager and the one receiving the encouragement.

5. Get active.

I love to exercise and run. If I am not able to get a regular workout routine. I can see a difference in my emotions. If I start down the pity party path, my good friends tell me to get some exercise.

6. Talk to The Lord.

Not just about the lack of joy that I’m feeling, but about life. The Word is full of promises of what life will look like when we spend time with Him. But it is okay to ask Him for joy.

“Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice.” (Psalms 51:8 NKJV)

7. Read His Word!

“This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.”(Psalms 119:50 NASB)

My affliction may be my tendency to not feel joy. It’s easy to be negative. It takes work and practice to feel joy. But His word can revive me!

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I have a wonderful support group. They listen to me and support me, but they do NOT coddle me. If I need to get out of my funk, they pull me up gently and dust me off. They might even give a gentle shove toward my path.

As you can see, I am hungry for joy. And I’m going to fight for it. If it takes all I have in me to find it, I will. And I won’t feel guilty for going after it because it’s one of His fruits. I want to be fruitful and full of Christ.

I’m training my heart and mind to feel joy. Would you like to be my workout buddy?

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