Lost Joy, Regained Hope
(This is not an easy post to write. Please bear with me.)
In the past few weeks, I’ve lost the joy and peace in Christ that I had before. That exulting joy that overflows from my heart into song and laughter that cannot be suppressed. There have been times I had to go outside and sing my heart out to God for His great love and blessings toward me. I have cried out to HIm in complete, willing, and joyous surrender to His will for me–because He loved me, because He loves me. Before I was born, He died for me. I did nothing to deserve His grace and forgiveness–yet He paid the ultimate price. I had the peace that nothing on earth could ruffle–not COVID-19, not schoolwork, not friends, not relationship problems. The peace that passeth all understanding. I had that.
Last night, I realized that I’ve lost that. I’ve lost that wonder and joy that has brought tears to my eyes. I’ve lost the joy that I can’t hide. I’ve lost my child-like faith and trust in God. I’ve exchanged faith for critisicm. I’ve begun to study the Fountain of Living Waters without drinking from it.
I struggled. I tried to deny it, tried to reason myself out of it. But my heart was dry. No more did the spring of living water flow as it once did–free, joyous, exulting in the love and power of God. My heart was no longer at peace with God, no longer lost in the wonder and adoration of His love, His greatness, Himself.
My life was gone. I’d lost what mattered most to me–the presence of the living God. I’d give anything, give up anything, to have it back. Oh that the Lord would be merciful to me!
Many good friends tell me that, in the Christian life, we go through ups and downs. Sometimes we feel joyous. Sometimes we are peaceful. Sometimes, we’re full of faith. We feel Him with us. But–at least this is what I felt as I listened to them–that elation and wonder are not “normal” situations to find one’s self in, or are not “business as usual.”
It’s almost as if being a Christian is no different from being just another lost human being, except for a few scatter-brained prayers throughout the day, and a distracted Bible study time in the morning or evening.
There’s got to be more than that.
And I’m here to tell you that there is. I’ve experienced it. God can fill you up with Himself. He does. He is willing.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
I’ve lost it–but God is forgiving, patient and loving. He is showing me my own setbacks, misunderstandings, pride, and weaknesses.
God tells us to seek HIm. Those who seek Him with their whole hearts truly find Him. And when you find Him, there’s nothing more precious and beautiful to you than Himself. There’s nothing else you need or want. He is all…nothing can compare.
There’s nothing worse in the world than not having His presence with you every waking (and sleeping) moment.
Dear brothers and sisters. The world is not easy. Life is hard. The Christian life takes desire, dedication, and discipline.
But we walk with the Lord of Life and the Savior of our souls.
Will you let Him be your Master and Lord? Will you put yourself down once and forever, and let Him fill you up with His glory, power, and grace? Will you seek after Him with abandon, heart and soul fully surrendered to His will?
Will you join me in the life-long journey of loving, serving, and joyfully living before the Lord every single day?
Let us rediscover that love and freedom of spirit that we had when we first came to know and accept Him. Don’t buy the lie that life can drown out the greatness and awesomeness of God. He is so much more than what we take Him to be.
Be strong and joyous in the Lord, y’all. God bless.