It’s hard to admit that you have little enjoyment in life.
Most of us don’t want to even admit that to ourselves, much less to those around us. I remember the first time I finally worked up the courage to admit that I no longer felt joy.
It scared me!
What if I never feel joy again??
Well, I did get my joy back and found satisfaction in life again. That deep sense of pleasure in the little things each and everyday.
But most of all, like Eric Liddle, I feel God’s pleasure!
But how did I get my joy back?
People have all kinds of advice for learning how to find satisfaction in the little things of life. Most popular right now is the Danish concept of Hygge.
But can this bring real joy?
No, only the Holy Spirit can bring joy in our lives. We can feel happiness, satisfaction or even pleasure in life; but true joy can only come from the Holy Spirit.
Before we look at the five ways we get our joy back, we must remember that the only way we lose our joy is by giving the enemy an invitation to come and steal our joy.
You can’t lose your joy, like you lose your wallet. Joy isn’t something that you misplace somewhere in life.
No, joy is stolen from us when we leave an entryway in our life unprotected.
But unlike the popular gospel song of the 90’s, we don’t “go to the enemy’s camp and take back what he’s stole from me”.
Frankly, there is nothing the enemy has that I want, and anything he has stolen from me he has perverted and defiled.
If I want my joy back, I don’t need to raid the enemy’s camp. I simply need to go before God and ask Him to fill me up again with the joy of the Holy Spirit!
He has an endless supply of joy and grace available to us right now!
Here are 5 ways we can get our joy back!
1. Repent of our disobedience – In my article 2 Things That Steal Your Joy, we learned that disobedience is one of the most common ways joy is stolen from our lives.
Disobedience distances us from God and causes our relationship to become broken. But when we come before Him in humble repentance, it restores that broken relationship. And repentance restores our joy.
2. Forgive all who have offended us – In that same article we see that bitterness also steals our joy. In Ephesians 4 we find that allowing anger to reside in our heart gives “place to the devil”, or today’s speak it leaves an entryway in our lives unprotected. Sinful anger invites the enemy to steal our joy!
But when we choose to forgive all who have offended us, our joy will be restored because forgiveness sets us free and allows God the freedom to forgive our sins as well.
Did you catch that?
Jesus, in Matthew 6, said that refusing to forgive people will actually result in God refusing to forgive our sins! If we want God to forgive us, we must be willing to forgive others.
3. Meditate on Scripture – Biblical meditation is literally speaking Scripture to yourself over and over again. The best way to memorize and meditate on scripture is to memorize large portions of scripture so that we keep it in its proper context. If you are lacking joy in your life, memorize the book of Philippians.
4. Accountability – Maybe you’ve already begun to take the necessary steps to get your joy back. Well, the enemy wont like that at all!
The devil will do everything possible to distract and discourage you from doing all you should to get your joy back. One of the best things we can do to stay the course is find accountability. Whether confiding in close friends or visiting our pastor, we should surround ourselves with strong Christians who will help keep us accountable to living a life that bears the fruit of joy in our lives!
5. Self-talk – One of the ways the enemy seeks to defeat us is with our tongue. Proverbs say this: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
We can either allow entertain the lying thoughts of the enemy and speak them, allowing him to steal our joy, or we can choose to speak the truth of God’s Word, and cause joy to grow in our live in even greater abundance.
Choosing to speak these scriptures over us, reinforcing in our hearts and spirits what Scripture says about us and our identity in Christ, will cause our lives to bear the fruit of joy in our lives.
Do you want to get joy back?
While there are practical things that we can do to make ourselves feel better inside: eating well, exercising, walking away from our screens, and learning to be content with the small things in life, there is only one source of joy.
Our only source of true joy is the Holy Spirit!
And if we want joy to grow and bear fruit in our lives we must walk in obedience and forgiveness, fill our hearts and minds with the Word, find accountability in God’s family, and speak life to our hearts and spirits.
Read more about joy in these articles below: