I remember a time in my life when I believed I might be “joy immune.” Depression had stolen my joy. I learned through that experience that we sometimes have to fight for joy (and, some days, our fight is harder.) On the days when I have to fight for joy, these are promises that I stand on.
“I want what you have,” she declared as she stared deep into my soul with her searching eyes.
I was a bit taken aback. “Excuse me?” What I really meant was, “What do you mean?”
“You’re always so full of joy. I can see it in your eyes.”
I’ve heard similar sentiments many times over in the last few years, and often it brings me to tears…tears of joy.
You see, I remember a time when depression stole my joy, and I believed that I might even be “joy immune.”
Fighting for Joy
As I wrote in my book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression,” scripture tells us that “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) and when it comes to depression, he seeks to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our identity. It’s a fight!
Some days we have to fight for joy more than others, but it’s always available. Jesus promised, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11)
On the days we have to fight harder for joy, it’s a comfort to remember his promise in Job 8:21 NLT: “He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
A friend gave me a T-shirt that reads “Fight For Joy.” It means a great deal to me. Not only because it was a gift, but also because wearing it reminds me that despite the circumstances, I must fight for joy. I fight not only for myself but also for others, because as I wrote about in “Hope Prevails,” every day is a fight against the enemy of our soul. And I’m a warrior woman, ready to fight for what Christ died to give me, my family and friends, and YOU!
How are you fighting for joy today? I’d love to hear in the comments below. It just may encourage someone else!
#JoyPrevails #FightForJoy #NotTodaySatan
May I pray for you?
I lift up the one reading these words right now. You know that we have an enemy who seeks to steal our joy. But oh how grateful I am that the second part of that verse reminds us that you have come so that we could have life, and have it to the full. Father, I ask you to help us fight for joy, and to remember that we are not fighting for victory, but from a place of victory because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. I ask for this one right now, that you will comfort and bring your joy in the morning. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
Hope Prevails and the Hope Prevails Bible Study are must-reads for anyone suffering from depression or knows someone suffering from depression.
“Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s enlightening book, Hope Prevails, provides a master blueprint for overcoming negative thoughts and toxic emotions. Targeting a generation who feels lost and hopeless, this book provides meaningful help to everyone who has endured unexpected heartache, pain or trauma. Hope Prevails offers effective answers on how to overcome loss and reach for a life brimming with peace, joy and limitless dreams. Reading this book will drastically improve your life.” ~ Tracey Mitchell TV Host, Preacher, Author, Downside Up
Love this! Keep fighting the good fight, friend! Hugs!
Thanks Liz. It’s worth the fight! #HopePrevails
Jesus did give us joy no one can take, we shouldn’t let them nor that enemy.
You’re right! Jesus gave us peace, joy, and hope. We have to remember it’s ours for the taking. It requires that we intentionally refute those thoughts that don’t line up with His truth.
I always find your “prescriptions” line up with my faith journey through depression. I choose living my “Life in the Light,” where my precious Savior illuminates the thoughts I listen to. If those thoughts are revealed to be from Him, I am purified and healed. If they are from the enemy, they dissolve in the cleansing light of God. Every day and all day long I ask for His light to shine in the dark recesses of my mind and heart, and you know what? Light ALWAYS dispels the darkness!
Thanks for visiting the blog. Welcome!
I’m so glad the “prescriptions” encourage you. All glory to God. I love your attitude and perspective. I’m so grateful He is our light!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
This has been a difficult year, so I know that feeling of needing to fight for joy and not feeling it each day when I wake up. Even in the middle of launching a mental health education resource for churches and individuals I was undergoing my own struggle. You just never know what people are facing. Thank you for your encouragement and I’d love it if you checked out my story at http://www.noordinarydays.com
What an amazing endeavor you undertook. God bless you for that.
I have found that when I step out to do such big “God assignments,” it often makes the enemy mad, and I have to fight even harder. Here’s praying you receive an extra dose and strength from Him to stay the course, and that your joy might be full!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
Joy is God’s constant – not sure it’s a feeling so much as a choice – like your great shirt! (and I love goldenrod!)
I think sometimes we have to remember to take our attention off what we see, and make sure we are giving the Joy-Giver our attention. It makes all the difference.
Because of Him, #JoyPrevails!
yes it does – memorizing Col 3 for the past few years helps!
What a great endeavor! Kudos to you!!
Love your shirt. Our enemy so wants to steal our joy and leave us in despair. You are right, God wants us to choose joy. Fight for joy. Because it is a constant battle.
Listening to the news is a joy stealer for me, so I often don’t listen to it. And when I do, I need to remind myself that God is in charge and not to choose fear.
We’ve gone to turning off the news. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we didn’t want to allow all that negativity into our home and into our son’s minds and ours. I’m so grateful we did. Yes, fear is a liar…God is in charge!
I love the shirt “Fight for Joy”. That is such a great message to remember.
Thanks! It helps me to have visual reminders to encourage me when times are tough. Ever feel that way?
Yes. I happen to be wearing one that says “Be Still” today. I just published a blog post a week or two ago about inspirational t-shirts. http://anordinarymom.site/how-to-change-your-life-with-inspirational-apparel/
Cute shirt and great message. Tweeted to share with our Living Our Priorities community. Stopping by from Grace and Truth Link UP.
You do exude joy but I know it’s because of the strength and love of your Father. Praying for you as you continue to draw your strength from God.
Oh yes, Mary!! The joy does not come from me, but from Him! Thank you for your prayers!
It’s so amazing to know that we can have joy even in the midst of our struggles!
I agree with you. What an amazing God that He would come to give us abundant joy and peace despite our circumstances. How great is His love toward us! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thank you so much for sharing this! It came at the EXACT time I needed to see it! The verse you shared from Job 8:21 encouraged this weary heart so very much!
I just love it when God provides the exact encouragement we need to hear, when we need to hear it. He loves you so! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
My mom has been talking a lot lately about how she has realized she’s allowed others to steal her joy. It’s so true that it’s something we need to fight for in this life! Enjoyed being your neighbor on #TeaAndWord today!
Some days really are a fight, aren’t they? But Jesus came to give us the gift of joy despite what others say or do, and despite our circumstances. I want to fully enjoy that gift. How about you?
What a beautiful reminder! We have to fight to claim our gift–but we never have to fight alone!
I’m so grateful for that. He came to give us joy and be with us in the fight! Blessings friend!
What a great post. I am going to fight for joy today. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.
Maree, thank you for helping to provide valuable resources for other. Some days are a fight, but I’m so thankful that Scripture tells us that the battle is God’s and He will fight for us if we will only be still! Because of Him, #HopePrevails
I do love and appreciate this message. I feel that I have joy but sometimes I wonder if I have the measure of it that Father intends for me. I do walk in victory and I do fight for joy every day by remembering and applying God’s Word to every situation. I do get blind-sided now and then by the enemy but I seem to come back to a place of peace a lot quicker than I used to do. Thank you for sharing this message from your own life and from the book that Father gave you to write for us. You are loved and appreciated so much, Dr. Michelle.
This was the sticky statement that jumped out at me: “when it comes to depression, he seeks to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our identity.”
I like the imagery of fighting for joy. It is encouraging to me.
WOW! I did not know that I needed to read this nor to pray with you. This pandemic has isolated me yet I am choosing isolation due to staying safer in a state/local area too that has loosed all safety measures. The masks were hardly worn before but very few are worn now, I have had my second vaccine a week ago so am holding still a bit longer. But I want the joy of the Lord, I can have it even in the stillness of my home and car. Thank you so much for pointing me back to the Source of my joy!