Have you ever wondered why you have not been able to tap into the miraculous, fulfilling and ultimate joy that the Bible talks about? For many of us, life has become a torturous prison and we find ourselves paralyzed by unfulfilled dreams, discouraging circumstances and difficult people. Each day, rather than being abundant or a delightful gift, becomes an unending dirge of retching emotions with only a black horizon in sight.
I have been there. I know where you are. I also know what it takes to be set free from the pain and prison of depression. For the next 21 days, you will be introduced to a new lifestyle … a new way of thinking … a challenge to embrace life with resilience and gusto. I know that you can do it because I did it. The question is this … will you do it?!
Often our frustration stems from the fact that we look for joy in all the wrong places. If you believe that an impressive college education, a spotless home or 5 well-behaved children are your password into the Kingdom of Joy … you have it all wrong. If you somehow think that losing 27.5 pounds or marrying the person of your dreams or being the owner of a passport filled with impressive stamps from exotic and far-away places will give you a money-back guarantee to perfect and perpetual joy … then once again my friend … you have it all wrong.
Joy is found in one place and one place only … “In His presence is fullness of joy!”
If you desire a joy so pervasive that it will trump every other circumstance in life then you must spend time in the presence of the Lord. If you are desperate for a joy that will literally defy all of your life’s depressing situations then you must choose to marinate in His presence.
How do you do that? Well, it’s really not that difficult. You can choose whether or not to make it a priority to spend time reading your Bible every day … you might turn on a worship CD and even sing along with it! If you are very bold and extremely desperate … you will choose to lift your hands in the air as an act of surrender while you worship. Another exciting option is to spend time alone in prayer every day. Just you and Jesus. Simply close the door to your bedroom and kneel beside your bed as you have a heart to heart conversation with the one who knows you the best and loves you the most.
MAKING IT PRACTICAL –
For people who have a difficult time understanding what joy actually is, I always tell them, “Just be thankful! Thankfulness and joy are not so very far apart!”
Today, begin to record a list of the things for which you are grateful. Entitle this list, “Thanksgiving in January and February!” Today, write down three things for which you are thankful. I dare you to make your list public through Twitter or on Facebook accompanied by “#beat depression!”
I declare today that when I spend time in God’s presence that I am given the extraordinary gift of Joy!
PRAYER FOR TODAY –
“Lord Jesus, I do love You so much. I ask today that I would have an awareness of Your presence and of Who You are. I ask that Your joy would fill the dark, empty places in me. I pray that my discouragement, disappointment and frustration with life would be washed away as I spend more time in Your presence. Thank You, Father God, for the gift of joy. Amen.”