Genuine inner joy is strength.
If we are being honest, all us have descended into despair over something and lost part of our joy in some way. Even if it is temporary, occasionally we take it hard.
Also understandably, we feel bad when bad things happen. Some things are beyond difficult, maybe even tragic, and cause incredible pain.
Did something come to mind? Did you think of something difficult that happened to you? When the big storm hit, how did you handle it?
Tragedy, hurts, failures, and sad situations can weaken us. But, we are more likely to survive and eventually thrive, if we have inner joy when the storm hits.
Joy or its empty opposite, lack of joy, is a condition of our heart, and a reflection of the state of our inner man. Like a fuel booster, it reminds us who we are and gives us a boost when our tanks are low.
Genuine inner joy makes us stronger and creates resilience. It keeps us moving forward, makes space for grief, so we don’t get stuck there. We are buoyed by its presence, held aloft and comforted. It is a source of perseverance.
We can keep going for a long time on its incredible staying power.
Joy also functions as a shield and fends off destruction.
Consider that after difficulty, we are in a diminished place mentally and emotionally, our inner man is weaker. We have to be careful. Without inner joy, we are open to depression and negative suggestion.
After we have survived and as a matter of habit, our inner joy needs bolstering.
Outside influences add to the chaotic spiritual onslaught. Television, news media, friends, neighbors, family all clamor to give us advice in the aftermath, but we have to be careful which advice we take and which advice we just let go of. Our cell phones constantly update us with snippets of useless information that only adds to the chaos. Clearly, what we don’t need are voices of drama, sadness, anger, and bitterness when our fuel light is on.
Instead of chaos and negativity, our spirit man needs to be refilled with good thoughts and prayer, spiritual songs, and good counsel. We have to feed our inner joy with the things that created it in the first place. Inner joy is a precious commodity, something worth protecting.
To go straight to the heart of the matter: more Jesus, less world creates inner joy.
Shut the door on the negative and chaotic. Defend your life by closing off the voices of destruction and fill the empty places with better. Choose what you take in wisely. Make it joyful, helpful, and uplifting.
Specifically, scripture can fill the holes left by the world.
A big laugh will help too. Friends and family who don’t feed the negative with despair and criticism will help.
Stop the relentless voices in your head with prayer, words of life, joyful activity, time outdoors, and engage some godly counsel. We don’t want to dwell there for years while the people still in our lives lose us.
The presence of joy is a way of being that we have to protect, foster, and encourage. It is our strength, a foundational bulwark against the evils and ills of the world. God tells us we can withstand great trials when our inner man is full of joy.
Barefoot and writing,
6 Blessed be the LORD, for He has heard my cry for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I will thank Him with my song. 8 The LORD is the strength of His people, a stronghold of salvation for His anointed.…