My joy wasn’t always as joyful as it should be. I wouldn’t allow myself to get too excited over the good things that were happening to me. I had been a joy imposter and I wondered where this came from.
I had been believing lies like God is good but He isn’t completely good. He’s just like man who cannot be completely trusted and He was setting me up so I could be let down.
One morning during what I call a “revelation session”, God reminded me of something I told myself when I was young. It came from an observation that in life there will be disappointments. In response to that observation, I decided to protect myself by reasoning if I never get too excited about anything then I can never be let down. I even had the thought that if I ever got a tattoo, it would be of a single teardrop at the corner of my eye.
I carried that pitiful mindset all the way into adulthood and marriage. I was so deceived that I was bottling up my emotions instead of living freely and really feeling them. This ended up causing me to feel trapped inside myself and it manifested itself as guilt and regret. All the while I was feeling jealous of people who seemed to be so free. All I could feel was“shoulda, coulda, woulda”. I hated feeling like that.
God began showing me how guilty I felt when something good happened to me. I had no problem being excited about the good in someone else’s life but when it came to my own joy, I was holding back the expression of it. I was believing more for the disappointments in life over the goodness of God toward me.
It’s no wonder I wasn’t experiencing the fulness of joy that I read about in the Bible. I was always half expecting it not to last! But not anymore. I want to live freely and drink deeply of His love for me.
I learned that joy is mine—it belongs to me. It’s an automatic byp of God’s Spirit living inside of me. Though freely given to me, joy is referred to as a fruit, meaning I have the responsibility to cultivate it. I must continue to choose it over and over again.
You know what else helped me, friend? An old familiar child’s song with the lyric: “If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it.” I decided that I would no longer hold my joy hostage. I want to be filled with joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11) and to express it to the full. That song convicted me to begin expressing my joy with a simple smile, a forced turning up of the corners of my mouth when I feel the guilt coming on. The feelings of joy soon catch up to the simple demonstrations of faith l, with regret no longer an option.
Whenever you feel like your joy is being challenged, find out what lies you may have been believing. Then seek out and declare the truth in God’s Word that combats those lies.
God is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. – Psalm 136:1 NIV
God is for us.
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ – 2 Corinthians 2:14a KJV
God has good plans in store for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
God is not like man.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
The joy found in God is everlasting.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11 NIV
Now I am no longer broken, but I receive the words of Jesus.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:11 NIV
You can connect with Dr Jaclyn or IG
If you enjoyed this post you can read more here
You can support the work of A21 and Feed the Hungry when you purchase your tee here