This is me and my sister. We must’ve been like 6 and 3 in this picture. And, I’ve just been staring at it and all that it captures – joy, delight, and carefree times.
I want to crawl out of all the hard that is life right now and back into a moment like this, where I’m protected from the tragedies and traumas of the world.
As I wrestle with not wanting to do the adult things that have been required of me lately, I remember that God in fact has things to say to us about a carefree, worryless, and joy-filled life. What does it look like to be “anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6-7), “consider it all joy when we encounter various trials” (James 1:2), and access those “pleasures forevermore that are at His right hand” (Psalms 16:11)?
How does this happen? How do we fight for it?
3 Ways We Can Fight for Joy
Do you see the way my sister is looking over at me in the picture? I feel like life’s best moments lose a little sparkle if there’s no one around to experience it with you. We were built to share life with others. And, this is one simple way we can fight for joy. Are we leaning into safe and life giving community? Do we have dear friends to not only share life’s joys with but also one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)? When tragedy strikes in the world, who can we lean into to grieve and lament with? What does community look like for you? If this is a place of need for you, I invite you to tell the Lord and ask Him for healthy friendships in your life. Pray for community and see what God does.
The second way we can fight for joy is to sit in God’s presence – waste time with Him! When was the last time you simply sat, stood, or walked with Him? You don’t have to exchange many words if any. You can still your soul and consider the fact that He is God and you are not (Psalm 46:10). Be present to His love for you – His inexhaustible love. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more than He does right now. In Psalm 16:11 David says,
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Apparently, it’s in His presence where we can find fullness of joy. In Tony Evans’ Study Bible he says that joy is “the feeling and expression of the inner celebration and satisfaction of the soul that transcends circumstances – the stability inside despite the chaos on the outside.” He also says that “the Holy Spirit’s task is to make real in the lives of true believers the comfort and confidence of their security in Christ.” Sitting with Christ will remind us of the security we have in Him, and we will no doubt be encouraged if we sit long enough in the truth of who He is and the truth of who we are in Him.
Lastly, the third way we can fight for joy is to worship. A couple years ago I had been bedridden for a few months with a ruptured disc in my back, and I remember one particular night being in so much pain that I cried myself to sleep. All I could do was play worship music over me. Through the groaning and writhing I could hear the words, and that was all I had the capacity for. It’s still a night that I look back on with a fondness because for me it was a worshipful night filled with tears, desperation, and surrender. God is with us always, and He meets us where we are. Worship Him no matter the circumstance.
- Lord, where have I experienced Your joy in my life lately?
- Holy Spirit, please remind me this week of the security I have in Christ.
- God, how and when can I sit in your presence this next week?
“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b