As we close this week’s round of devotionals on the topic of finding joy in the Christian life, I would like to leave you with a short thought on how to recover your joy. This week we have been learning about the sins in our lives that rob us of our joy in Christ. However, if you feel that you are at the point where you have lost your joy in Christ and do not know where to go from here, allow me to take you to the Scripture and show you several things you can do, by God’s grace, to recover the joy of your salvation
1. Acknowledge your sin before God
This is the first and most basic step. You cannot begin to be restored if you do not realize you have a sin problem in your heart. It could be an idol, it could be the quenching of the Spirit, or possibly some sexual sin, but you must come to God in repentance because you will never experience true joy if you live in constant, habitual sin and defeat. David understood this very well in Psalm 51 when he repented of his sin of adultery and murder: “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin… Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. (51:2, 4, 8)”. Therefore, I urge you, spend some time with the Lord and settle your account with him and only then you can begin the process of rebuilding a joyful relationship with him.
2. Embrace your suffering and trust him in the midst of it.
It is very likely that the loss of joy in your life is due to a sinful response to difficult circumstances in your life. At times, instead of understanding that God is in control of our suffering and that he is trying to use it to make us more like Christ, we become bitter against the Lord and life in general, and therefore, we lose any semblance of joy in our hearts. However, the Bible is very clear that God has a purpose for your suffering and that he is always right there next to you: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (KJV Psalm 23:4). “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)”.
3. Rely on the strength that only God can give
One of the biggest sins we commit in our daily Christian walk is the sin of self-reliance or self-dependence. When we live a life that forgets to spend time with the Lord or even consult with him our many decisions, we are walking in our own strength. There is no way you can live the Christian life alone, it is just impossible. One of the biggest reasons you are joyless and bitter is because you trust in your own strength so much. It is true that the Christian’s sanctification is a two lane road, it is both a human and a divine work (unlike our salvation), but our mistake is indirectly thinking we can make on our own. Paul reminds of this truth in Ephesians 6:10: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”. If the great apostle Paul understood that we cannot win the fight with our own strength and weapons, what about you and me? But there is another great truth in verse 12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. The reason we cannot make it on our own is because we are not fighting humans, this is a spiritual war and you need spiritual weapons and spiritual strength.
Therefore, as I end these week’s devotionals, I urge you to consider these truths. If you have lost your joy in your salvation, I want to invite you to turn to the Lord in repentance, trust him in the midst of your trials and do battle with the strength that he alone can supply.
God bless you all