Recently I allowed a rejection to rob me of joy. I felt myself sinking into the pit of self-pity, preoccupation with my hurt, and negative thinking like “There is no hope in this situation.”
The truth that invaded my thinking in the midst of my sinking was “You can choose joy.”
God convinced me that my joy could be restored—no matter what people around me were doing to me and to themselves by choosing their way and refusing to embrace His.
God brought key Bible verses to mind which restored me to the place of joy–despite my circumstances.
One of those verses is Psalm 16:11.
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. AMP
I see no “unless” in this verse ie
“unless your life is hard,”
“unless the people around you are rebelling,”
“unless you’ve been rejected by someone you dearly love.”
The truth is “losing my joy” is never the fault of my circumstances or even people who hurt me, but is directly related to how I view and respond to my situation.
I remember a counselor telling me there is never just one choice. The lie the enemy wants me to believe is that joylessness is the only choice in hard times.
The reason I can so easily slip into the trap of joylessness and its close cousin hopelessness is that I tend to keep my eyes on and put my hope in people who change and fall and are so imperfect–just as I am.
When I return to fixing my eyes on the Lord–on who He is and all He has done and promises to do in me and through me–He restores my joy. I hold to the promise that He never changes, and His love for me remains unaltered even though it seems other people’s love for me is fickle and sorely lacking.
I can choose to rejoice that He is bringing good even out of this—that He will make sure this turns out for my good and His glory as I cling to Him and put my hope in Him instead of in people.
A truth a friend of mine told me years ago–“God never wastes our pain”–is ringing in my ears.
Today I choose joy.
I choose to seek God’s presence.
I choose to be held in His arms when the arms of others fail me.
As I do this, the miracle that happens in my heart is increased compassion–even for those who hurt me. Instead of hurting back, I can invite them to join in on God’s plan for healing.
God can use joy in Him to help transform them even as it is transforming me.
Isn’t He amazing?
To hear more about “Restoring Joy” listen to my radio show “Hearts Set Free with Elaine” on Saturday July 6, 2013 at 8:00am EST. Go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live.” Or listen from the archives later.