Is Discouragement Stealing Your Joy?
If Joy is the feeling you experience when someone is happy to see you, that means you have to be in a relationship to feel joy. Whatever is hurting your relationships may be stealing your joy. Is Discouragement stealing your joy?
Today, let’s explore the joy stealers in your relationship with Jesus. Watch the video here https://youtu.be/fs24O6MPnKk
Joy is the feeling we get when someone is happy to see us. It’s the short, intense feeling that when genuine, is followed up with the feeling of peace. Jesus is our peace and joy. It’s the benefit of being in a relationship with him. If you’re not experiencing joy and peace it may be because something is keeping you from Him.
Let’s explore if discouragement is stealing your joy. I’ve learned the signs on my own Kingdom Journey and from many clients over years of ministry and coaching other followers of Jesus.
Discouragement is a Joy Thief!
The first Joy Steeler I’d like to start with is Discouragement. Discouragement means to be deprived of courage. Disheartened. Hope that has been removed or taken away. Often times experiencing a failure or repeated failures brings discouragement. Discouragement will blind you to the promise of your future. It can cloud the clarity of Hearing God’s voice in your life. Let me explain.
You’ve heard the scripture of Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it’s a tree of life. Do you believe it means that when your dream, hope, or desire takes a long time to be fulfilled, it will make your heart sick? Most people do. But I hold a different view. I believe your heart gets sick when you stop hoping for the thing or desire. As long as you hold onto hope for healing, or a breakthrough, or a spouse, or getting pregnant, or your business idea to succeed, or your finances to be restored, or whatever it is …you’ll remain hopeful. It’s when you STOP hoping or believing that your heart becomes sick.
Holding onto courage and hope can be a fight. Often it’s for a season, sometimes multiple seasons, but regardless, it’s about holding on until God moves. It’s not so much about how much it weighs, but how long you’re willing to carry it.
Hope Replaces Discouragement
I know this personally because once, I gave up hope for a situation to change. I literally became depressed and it lasted 3 days. My natural personality is to remain hope-filled, full of hope. I had never really experienced true depression before. How did I turn it around? I spent time with the Lord, got his idea, or so I thought and ran with it. Once I started moving again, the Lord course-corrected my route and everything worked out.
Sometimes you need help to carry the burden while you’re waiting for God to move on your behalf. Sometimes he’s waiting for your cooperation with his plan to resolve. You’ve heard the story about a woman stranded on the roof of her home during a flood. Someone comes by in a rowboat to rescue her but the stranded lonely woman refuses because she is waiting for God to show up. Next comes a speed boat with the same offer and again the same answer. Finally, a helicopter drops a bucket and the reluctant victim allows herself to be rescued all the while complaining that God never showed up. Who has God sent to help you?
Are You Blaming God?
Here’s the thing…Once you become discouraged about the situation or you have lost hope in it, do you start blaming God? It’s more common than you think. You may not even realize that’s what you’re doing, but it could be true.
There seems to be a certain expectation that if God loved you and me then bad things just won’t happen. I know for most of my adult life as a Christian I held onto that belief. But what happens when a tragedy hits you? Even without a big whammy or tragedy, you might hold an expectation that you will be blessed and prospered because after all that is the promise of scripture. How do you process when it doesn’t happen? What belief have you formed when you experience difficulty? Hardship? Loss? Pain? Betrayal?
For many of us, it’s easier to blame God than to look too deep inside because it’s easier to be a victim than to be responsible.
God, If You Love Me…
Have you ever thought something like this: “God, if you love me you will bring me a husband, restore my relationship, heal my body! or God why did you let my friend betray me? or you would intervene to prevent the car from hitting us, or you would not let violence, happen, or …
The fruit of this belief or reaction is avoidance, isolation. Like Adam and Eve when they ate the apple, immediately they hid from God. They wanted to avoid him. They felt shame. But when God asked what happened, you know the story, Adam blamed Eve. It’s always easier to be the victim than to admit to being responsible.
So what do you do if you find yourself agreeing with this possibility?
Time for a Do-Over!
Spend a few moments with Jesus. Imagine yourself in your favorite, peaceful place. Let yourself see Jesus with you in your mind’s eye. Tell him what you’ve been believing. Repent of it ask sin against him. He is not the author of anything bad. He is always good. Ask him to reveal where you began to blame him. Tell him you’re sorry. Ask for a do-over. He’s longing to be in an intimate relationship with you and will gladly let you start over again. Sometimes we need help to overcome discouragement. If you want someone to walk with you to overcome discouragement and disappointment, check out my coaching packages or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kick Discouragement Out!
It’s good to write down and speak out loud some declarations of what the truth is.
God, you are always good.
You are my father and best friend
You think good thoughts of me
You are my provider
You are my peace
You are my healer
I hope this helps you stop letting discouragement steal your joy! Next week we’ll tackle Disappointment!
Also, let me know some of the joy stealers you’re struggling with so we can explore them in future posts.
What do you think?
Let me know how you feel about this post.