If you’ve ever found yourself facing hard times, one thing you may know to be true: difficult seasons will often seek to drive our joy and happiness far away. But it’s also there, right in the tough places, where we can learn this important truth too, which gives us the perseverance to keep pressing through.
True joy is never dependent on our circumstances, it is from the Lord.
Joy is a choice. It’s not something we can just drum up on our own, or try to put on a fake, happy face, pretending everything is OK when we struggle to just get through. It’s far more than that. It’s authentic. It’s real. And it’s powerful. The Bible is clear that we need to “choose” to have joy during seasons of difficulty. It reminds us that the “joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
If we’re needing that extra power boost of strength in our day, His joy within us will help us walk in confidence and truth, not held back in fear or worry. The Lord is faithful to help us and there are far greater things still ahead. He gives us the power to live strong. He gives wisdom and discernment to make the right choices. He plants joy deep inside. He offers the assurance, that no matter what we face, He is with us. And because of those truths, we can recognize who is at the root of every battle with discouragement and defeat. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy by listening to his lies. Step over his traps, focus on the truth of God’s word. God desires that we live free, filled with His Mighty Spirit, stepping right over every obstacle of the enemy.
We might be facing the toughest of times now, but the truth is, if God has given us breath for today, then He still has great purpose for our lives and promises to bring good through whatever we walk through. He’s the very reason we can live with joy in the battles, and have peace that is unexplainable to the world. Let’s choose to look to Him this morning, thankful for the gift of today, asking Him to fill us afresh with His hope and true joy.
We confess our need for you, for your Spirit to fill our lives afresh with great joy and strength. The hard times can often leave us feeling dry and defeated. We’ve been weary and burdened. We’ve struggled through for so long, it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel anymore. Would you please give us a glimpse of your goodness again, reminding us that you have never left us and that you have promised to see us through. Thank you for your faithfulness Lord. Forgive us for not trusting you, for buying into the lies of the enemy, and not focusing on what we know to be true from your word. Breathe your joy and peace into our lives again, cover us in the shadow of your wings, shine the light of your truth over us.
At the start of each day, help us to recognize you above all else. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might see you and notice how you're at work through our lives. Give us wisdom to make the best choices, fill us with a desire to seek after you more than anything else. Please allow your Spirit and power to work mightily within us, through us, again, fresh and new. Thank you that you are greater than anything we may face in our day, or in these difficult seasons. Thank you that your presence goes with us, and that your joy is never dependent on our circumstances; but it is our true and lasting strength, no matter what we might be up against in this world. We ask that your Spirit lead us, that your peace would guard our hearts and minds in you. We ask for your grace to cover our lives, and that you would bring us through every dark season with your joy and favor.
We love you Lord. We need you today, and always.
In Jesus' Name,
His joy is where our strength is found:
"The joy of the Lord is my strength." Nehemiah 8:10
Jesus came to give us abundant life:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
His Spirit fills us with real hope and joy:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
Even in our hardest times, He gives us the power to choose joy:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2
God’s blessing, joy, and presence are with us always:
“For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.” Psalm 21:6
Every day is a gift from His hand:
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.” Job 8:21
His peace and joy will carry us through:
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
We can choose to find joy in Him, for He will bring us through every difficulty:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
The very fruit of God’s Spirit is joy:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23
The reality of Christ’s love for us and the hope He offers, gives us everlasting joy that the world can’t understand:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” 1 Peter 1:8
God knows how healthy joy is forour lives and He will bring healing to our hearts:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
He is able to restore our joy again:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12
Even after the darkest times, joy comes back:
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning…” Psalm 30:5
He is faithful to see us through seasons of difficulty and pain, and will fill us with shouts of joy:
“He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:6
We have a choice every day of who we listen to and what we believe. We have a choice of what we will do with joy. May God help us to live wisely and to allow the light of His powerful joy and strength to shine through our lives in every season.
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
This article is part of our Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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