Have you ever looked around you at all the seemingly joyful people and wondered where they got their joy? Or how they maintained it?
Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is dependent on our circumstances. Joy is an inner contentedness despite our circumstances.
Does this describe you? Or perhaps it describes a state you’re longing for. If that’s the case, there’s hope!
I don’t personally agree with the “choose joy” theory.
I don’t think it’s that simple because I was trying. I was. And, I know that a lot of you would say that you would choose joy if it was that simple.
I do, however, think that what we have to recognize is that joy is a gift from God.
It says in John 15, “if you keep My commandments, if you remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love, I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this. Love each other as I have loved you.”
I started thinking about that and I thought, “So what does it take to have joy?” Because I was depressed and all I wanted was joy. Yet it’s the enemy’s desire to steal our joy and he will.
So, Romans 15:13 conveys that joy is a gift. It says, “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
So, there’s something we have to do first. We have to first trust and then God fills us with His joy. It’s a gift from Him to have joy. But we have to trust. That’s what I learned as I was laying in a bed so sick and so depressed.
I had to decide that despite my circumstances, (we’ve talked before about happiness coming in our circumstances). Despite my circumstances, I had to trust God. As I began trusting Him, the joy started coming back.
So, what do we do when we lose our joy? What do we do when we fall in this trap of depression? And, more importantly, what do we do when we start recognizing that we believe some of the lies of the enemy?
Because we’re going to talk about what we do when he steals our joy, and what do we do when we lose our peace, and what we do when he starts tampering with our identity. It all falls back to the lies that we start believing.
We have a part to play. I have told you before that I want to give you the tools because once we know who and what we’re dealing with, we’ve got the ammunition. Victory is already assured.
So, the Bible says we have to recover ourselves. When I hear that, I think that’s a weighty responsibility. So let’s break it down because it’s really not that hard.
The first thing we have to do is: to recognize that, I’ve been listening to a lie. For example, I believed a lie that I was joy immune. So, we recognize that we cooperated with the enemy by listening to him and agreeing with his lie.
So, first is we recognize and then we repent. For example, “Father, I believed a lie. I believed the lie instead of believing Your truth.”
Then we renounce and we reject the lie. We declare, “I’m not listening to that enemy anymore. I’m going to believe Your truth.”
Then we receive, instead, God’s love and His forgiveness and His peace and His joy. It’s as simple as that. Let’s not make it so complicated.
So, to review, we recognize that we cooperated with the enemy and we believed his lie. We repent to God for believing the enemy’s lies. Then, we renounce and we reject. “We’re not believing that anymore. Satan get behind me.” Then we receive God’s forgiveness and His love and His peace and His joy.
The enemy wants to make it so, so complicated. It’s not. It’s not. What’s complicated is that he’s so subtle. But, as we start recognizing it, and you will, every time you realize that, you think, “No! I’m not falling for that anymore. Shut up, enemy!” Can I tell you how many times a day I say to the enemy, “Shut up! I’m not listening to that anymore. I’m not believing that anymore.”
Victory is already ours. God gives us the tools. It’s just up to us to do the work.
Are you willing to do the work to get well and be well? I can promise you, it’s worth it!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.