I don’t know what you’re struggling with. You may be in that phase of life where you are surrounded by dirty diapers. Maybe you’re a parent of teens wondering what inhabited their body and will they ever appreciate you as their parent? Maybe you are recently widowed or divorced and feeling alone and lonely. Maybe you are going through financial stresses. Maybe you have a prodigal child. Maybe you’re a caregiver for an ill spouse or parent.

I don’t know what you are personally going through, but I can tell you I’ve been through several of those scenarios I just listed. I have journeyed through the muck and the mire, and I have experienced that dark night of the soul when I honestly didn’t even know what joy was.

I remember thinking, “God, I don’t know if I’ve ever really experienced joy. It just seems like a nice word in a Christmas carol.” It made me angry.

God promises your joy will overflow

If that’s you today, I want you to continue reading. You CAN experience His joy. That’s what He wants for you. He says, in John 15:11, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”

God wants you to have His joy. Not just a little bit. Not just the crumbs or the leftovers from other people’s joy. He wants you to have overflowing joy.

You might be thinking, “That’s all well and good for you, but how do you know that for me?”

I know that’s true for you because that’s His promise. It’s something He offers you. Claim that joy as your own. God promises that His Word will not go out and return void until it accomplishes what it was intended to accomplish.

I remember laying in a sick bed, dying, so depressed, and convinced that I was joy-immune. I’d look at other people and see their joy but believed I must just be one of those people who would never experience joy.

Now that I’m on the other side of that time in my life, I frequently have people comment that, “You’re just so full of joy.”

I recently had an opportunity to teach to a large group of women and have the opportunity to preach to a church congregation, and both events filled me with such joy. Sharing about what God has done in my life is one of the most joyful things I’m ever blessed to do. As I was preaching, I sensed God speak into my heart, “Now I have made your joy complete.”

Complete joy

For me, there is no greater joy than preaching and teaching about Jesus. As I was sharing my testimony of what God had done in my life, my joy was full! It was complete! I was loving it! And it was then that I sensed God whisper, “I have made your joy complete. So back in those days, Michelle, when you thought you were joy-immune, that was a lie from the pit of hell.”

Joy comes in the morning

I don’t know what your circumstance is, but if you are believing, as I once did, that you are joy-immune, that is a lie. When I was in that dark place, convinced that I would never experience His joy, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Psalm 30:5, “Although weeping may last for a night, joy comes in the morning.”

I reminded God of that verse frequently (not that God needed reminding, but I reminded Him nonetheless), “God, you promised joy would come in the morning!”

I can tell you from experience, sometimes the night lasts a long time. My joy didn’t come the next day or the next week. Sometimes the night might last a week, or a month, or a year. Sometimes that dark night of the soul can feel like its going on for a long time but it will come to an end, and He promises that joy will come.

I love the little word will. When God uses the word will in Scripture, I get excited, because that’s a promise. I remind God of His promises, and I remind the enemy of God’s promises. God said, “joy will come in the morning.” So I remind God, “You promised joy would come, so I’m believing it, and I’m clinging to it, and I’m trusting you for it.”

Finding joy: expect it!

Regardless of whatever you are going through right now, you can and you will experience His joy. Look to God expecting it will come. When the enemy whispers that that isn’t true for you, you tell him to shut up because he is a liar. God’s truth stands because it is a promise, and He has never yet broken a promise.

Hope-Filled Perspective: You Can Have Joy – Ch 5 Joy

I hope this encourages you. I have been there, and now I know that there is nothing better than His joy.

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!

 

At one point in my life, I thought I was joy-immune. Now that I’m on the other side of that time in my life, I frequently have people comment that, “You’re just so full of joy.” You can have joy! Read more for how. #faith #encouragement #joy

Hope Prevails Book and Hope Prevails Bible Study {hope for overcoming depression} ~ Find out more about experiencing God’s joy in Hope Prevails.

Depression resources: Hope Prevails and Hope Prevails Bible Study

Available through book retailers!

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.

“It’s very likely that you or a loved one has experienced the effects of depression: profound sadness, lack of energy, loss of joy. You may have found yourself wishing for the honest counsel of a wise woman or a close friend, even a special therapist. Someone who would understand what you are going through without you having to find the words. Someone who has a special kind of wisdom and guidance to share. Through Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson relates to the reader as a caring friend while providing professional insights formed by years of education, training, and experience as a neuropsychologist. In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson attends to the spiritual aspects of healing from depression and interprets frequently used depression treatment techniques within the context of a close relationship with God. Dr. Bengtson sprinkles personal knowing alongside professional knowledge to deliver sound teachings and recommendations from the perspective of a “helper” who has had her own battles against depression, has grabbed hold of God’s promises and realized joy in Him. She delivers inspired love and understanding of her own and through that shows God’s love for those who are in despair. She is that friend, maybe not one you know personally, but one whose words can comfort and guide you just as powerfully toward a fulfilled relationship with God, the Healer.”

Laura Patke, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist

Related Reading:

The Fight for Joy

I’m a warrior woman and ready to fight for what Jesus died to give me. #joy #faith #hope #HopePrevails

 

Hope Prevails! Joy Comes in the Morning

In the depths of the valley of depression, one of the ways that the enemy keeps us there, is by stealing our joy. He does that in many ways. But he largely does that through our thoughts. One way to combat that is to take captive every thought. Find out more!

 

The Doorway to Joy

Scripture says you reap what you sow. If we want to reap peace, we must sow thankfulness. Gratitude and thankfulness open the doorway to joy.

 

 

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