A few days ago I started off in a great mood. I felt pleasant, refreshed, and enjoyable around others. In the midst of my joy and happiness I thought on how amazing God is, and how incredible His love is for us. This made me feel even better, and I found myself filled with gratitude towards God. I felt as though nothing was going to put a damper on my day. However, things happened and a cloud managed to direct itself over me. It wasn’t anything huge or earth shattering. It was actually just a simple conversation that didn’t really mean much of anything.
However, the conversation stirred up emotions. The emotions took me down a very different train of thought. I found myself blowing things out of proportion in my mind. I couldn’t even really pinpoint what was suddenly making me so upset and disappointed. All I knew for certain was that I was bumbed out, and it seemed as anything that was neutral or a little negative was dropped down a few notches on the bad side of the scale.
Chances are you have been there before too. One moment you are on top of the world, and something out of the blue happens that seems to just bring everything crashing down. Often times it isn’t even an event that should have that kind of power. We seem to jump back and forth so flippantly on our joy. What makes us lose our joy so easily?
I have found in my life that a lack of joy tends to relate to a lack of trust in God. When something bad happens that makes me fall down into discouragement I am focusing entirely on the issue and not at all on God. Too often we focus on the problem.
I have a weird personality. Technically I am a thinker, but I have a tendency to wear my emotions on my sleeve. While this allows me to be diverse, I struggle with thinking too much on the problem. By thinking too much on the problem I quickly find myself in a state of discouragement. I get to discouragement because I struggle with finding a way to deal with the problem. The longer I struggle the bigger I make the problem seem.
Why didn’t I just turn right back to God in that moment of discouragement? I was already delighting in Him minutes earlier. How is it that I was able to lose my focus so easily? That’s the problem with us humans. We wave back and forth in the wind. James talks about that in the first chapter of his letter. He talks about asking God for wisdom, but that we must do so in complete faith and trust. If we don’t then we are unstable in everything that we do.
Stability. Now that is a word I bet most of us wish could define us. True stability comes from a complete trust in God. Here was my problem in that situation I describe earlier. When the axe fell down I took my eyes of God and focused on the problem. I never went to God for wisdom, and even when I finally started to in the beginning I was still so filled with worry, and never really expected God to pull through. My lack of trust in God diminished my joy in God.
What keeps you from experiencing your joy? Feel free to share in the comments below.