Joy comes and goes, often at the whim of our emotions. Have you noticed that? In reality, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, which is oh-so-much-more than a feeling. Joy is a fruit of God’s Spirit–it is a showing forth of His character, His joy, in us. Kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
Too often my my thoughts mix joy and happiness together with a have-it–my-way preference. Circumstances, emotions, and expectations prop up my feelings and I want to call it joy. We’re continuing the dive into joy in Philippians 3, for we simply can’t have too much joy.
Joy Stealer: Expecting to be there already.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect (complete), but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12).
Ever struggle with the expectation that you should have arrived by now? That somehow you should have gotten your act together, overcome the struggle? How many times have I raked my heart across the burning coals of self-condemnation, wondering how can I still be struggling with this fear, that temptation, those irritations…
Truth is, no matter how hard I try, in my own effort and ability, I can never be enough, do enough to make it on my own. Sure I can achieve some measure of what this crazy world calls success.
Yet the peace and joy that my soul craves comes only from placing my trust and confidence in Christ.
Standing firm in Christ, joy becomes a viable choice for He has done what I cannot. My self-effort falls short but in Christ I am restored.
Choose Deeper Joy: Press on.
Friend, will you join me in letting go of the expectation that by our own efforts we will beat the thousand counterfeits that rise up to snatch joy away? Let’s unfurl that clenched fist of ambition to make it on our own.
Can we choose joy together?
Could we let go of the pressure to make ourselves strong, earn our way, right our wrongs, and fight our battles with the self-life that craves for control and perfection apart from Christ?
What would happen if we agree to hold fast to the truth that we are saved by grace and made new with God’s love?
Accepting who we are.
How will joy come gentle like rain in the relief of simply receiving grace in this moment?
And the next?
And the one after that?
Press on, one moment at a time, one choice at a time.
Reach for the One who holds you secure in the palm of His hand. Let go of your joy stealers, for you have already been laid hold of the One who IS joy.
Together, let’s shout to the Lord, “All my springs of joy are in you” (Psalm 87:7).
How are you choosing joy today?
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A powerful encouragement for anyone who struggles to overcome anxiety, perfectionism, insecurity, or other mindsets that hold us back. Grow in holiness without the pressure of having everything “just right.” Through gentle encouragement, biblical insights, and applicable ideas you can experience a deeper life of freedom in Christ. Transparently sharing my own struggles, I want to help you live from the joyful reality of hope, healing, and holiness.