Releasing Unexplainable Joy: When Joy Doesn’t Come

Remaining joyful is hard.

Our world seems constantly on the edge of spinning out of control.  Then add to that our personal crises and it’s no wonder we’re depressed.  I’ve sometimes said, “I’m not surprised at the number of crazy people that there aren’t more.”

 

Photo by Swamibu

Photo by Swamibu

 

Often our response is anger or ignoring.   Both rarely change the situation positively and often escalate it.

And that leaves us even more depressed and frustrated.

When we try to be thankful we find ourselves focusing more on our problems than our blessings.

 

How do we break the cycle?

 

We need an underlying focus that no matter how crazy things become God’s promises of his love and blessings are still real.  No matter how challenging our circumstances God is greater.

No matter what we’re going through God has promised to lead us into the sunshine again.

And he promises, no matter the difficulties we find ourselves in, he will bring good out of it.

And then peace sneaks in.

We glimpse a different perspective.  We begin to see answers where we only had questions.

We fleetingly see blessings where there had been only problems.

Joy surprises us in the midst of our depression.

Not all at once and certainly not every moment.  But enough to infuse us with the gratitude that builds its own joy.

 

Paul writes, “There is so much evil around us so don’t be foolish.  Instead understand what God’s promises are and how he guides us to live.  Then you will be filled with the Spirit. And that enables us to be thankful and filled with joy.”  (Ephesians 5:16-20)

 

We never escape the evil of this world but we can live in joy in the midst of it.

 

When the financial crash of 2009 hit it devastated people.  I have my own financial advising business and my clients were worried.  Many are retirees living off their savings.

My phone rang non-stop for six months.  By the time I finished one call I would have three more waiting.  It went on from morning to night.

I was confident we’d be okay–most of the time.  But to be honest, there were moments I wrestled with doubts.

My income dropped in half.  My investments plunged the same.

 

And sometimes, when I was exhausted, the old demon of depression would attack.

 

Often I had to hunker down and tell myself, “God cared for us in the past and he will now.”

I thought of all the blessings God could work out of this challenging situation.

As I drove home in the evening, after another exhausting day, I thanked God he had taken care of us.

Then in the midst of the darkness a few rays of light peaked out.

Because of my support some clients brought more assets and referred friends.

I anchored friendships with so many who called just to ask, “How are you doing?”

I discovered joy when there was no reason for it.

Finally the dawn broke again.  It would still be months before the devastation subsided but joy increased.  The sunshine had returned.

Yet, what about when the difficulty you are in simply will not allow joy to come?  We’ll talk about that next time.

 

When have you faced a crisis that you were able to hang on to joy in the midst of?  What promises did you rest in?

 

If this post encouraged you I hope you will share it with a friend.