Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vintage Gwen Chapel-Finding Joy

I have been in denial. And I hope this post today starts my journey out of denial.  
I shared in my recap of our ladies retreat about how God used a simple thing like a nail polish swap to move mightily among us.  I used the fruits of the spirit and other good spiritual words to match ladies up.  Well the word I got was joy.  Honestly, I was so focused on what God was doing for everyone else that it didn't dawn me till probably a week after getting home that  I got the word joy for a reason. 
I simply don't have any.  And it's been about a month since the retreat and I'm just now addressing it. 
Yep, denial. 
When I say I don't have any, well I mean the joy of the Lord joy.  Because I laugh and smile on a daily basis so I'm not unhappy. To me having the joy of the Lord means that I take great pleasure in knowing He's Lord, that I have victory in any circumstance, that He's great, mighty, and good. And I could gone on and on and on about of the goodness of God!  But what has happened is I've let my unhappiness of how particular things are in my life snuff out the joy of the Lord.  For example, I've been struggling with feeling like I'm inadequate as a mom and a wife.  I'm ready to have one more baby so my son can experience a sibling and not be alone in this world if something happened to me and my husband.  Well because it's challenging to have a toddler my husband is not ready.  {And that's putting it in a nutshell!} And so because I've let those things overshadow my spirit there's no sense of joy. Makes sense?
So what to do?
Pray more.
Trust more.
Read the word more.
Correct my focus.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 21:6
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 86:4
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

Reading these have already made me feel better!
So yes, God wants us to have His joy no matter what. Sometimes it's a struggle, sometimes not. 
Either way aren't you glad it exists?
I sure am!

How do you keep the joy of the Lord?

Be blessed!

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