A few weeks ago I was talking with someone and they shared with me one negative story after the next about things going on in the world. Our conversation lasted about half an hour. As I was talking with the person, I said several times, ‘we have much to pray about’. Trying to wrap my mind around all that was being said, I kept trying to lean on faith and saying’ I need to pray.’ The only thing was, I began to run things in my mind and flightily asked God for help. Then turned to my fears and worries, letting them run wild. I took a downturn mentally for about three weeks!!! Three weeks y’all! I let my fears overtake my mind and took on a depressed state. I allowed my joy to be taken, and I had been having a great day! I switched from to joy to seeing problems with no solutions around me. I was haunted by my fearful thoughts. Trying to figure out what to do with the whirlwinds of what if’s, I half heartedly tried to pray. Instead of putting more energy into praying, I sunk a whole lot of energy into hopeless feelings and terrifying thoughts. I just couldn’t seem to shake free from my fears, thinking “what am I going to do about all this?”
Then I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me to speak the truths of Scripture out loud. I knew how valuable it is to speak Scripture outloud, Jesus was often saying “it is written”. Scripture is our double edged sword, the power to overcome, that God has given me to use. The sad thing is I didn’t want to, I wasn’t believing God or his word to be bigger than the fears and concerns I had. I wasn’t looking to God for “what He was going to do about all this”. I finally began to open up my Bible and read it and then things began to change. I began to claim the truths of God and began speaking the truth over my fears. I definitely could not do anything to deal with the things I had heard, but God sure could. I started asking God to take my fears and asked for him to help me, to guide and instruct me in wisdom. I began to think on all the ways God has taken care of me over my life and how faithful he has been through all history in the Bible. I started looking up at God, and working toward living in the now. Realizing how I was provided for in the moment, how my children were taken care of at that moment. I started looking around at all the good. Started thinking on joy. The truth is that God has joy and peace for me everyday. He wants me to live in joy and peace. Praying to live fully in the moment. It was transforming.
Some of the Scriptures I began to pray were:
Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in Me also. John 14:1
We demolish arguments and every pretension/imagination that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than the birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:22-26
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9-11
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
God sees everything going on in our lives, more clearly than we can ever imagine. He knows exactly what we need before we even ask for it! Focusing on the provision at hand is life changing. God is constantly providing, all the time! He is providing the breath in my lungs, the beat of my heart, the warmth of the sun, and the cool of the night. God wants us to live in abundant joy, he tell us to cast our cares on Him. Depression and hopelessness are not from God! It is so crucial for us to stay connected to God, seeking him with our whole hearts in prayer and speaking thanksgiving. The connection to God and leaning on God is our lifeline to live in joy and peace. Lasting joy and peace only come from God.
The concerns are still there, I have just placed them in God’s hands. There are things in this world that are troubling, God knows this, that is why he has written so many promises in the Bible for us to be equipped for the waves of life. The promise that God knows all and sees all, and he has good plans and a future for his children are just a few to start with. He sent Jesus and we are wholly his all the time no matter what is going on in this world. Sometimes we just need to stop the swirling thoughts and begin claiming who God is. There is so much peace in the truth of God. He is so faithful to fill us with his joy when we lean on him. There truly is joy all around us all day! Don’t let your joy be stolen! God is always actively loving us! I encourage you to pray some of the Scriptures above and let God speak to your heart. Let God place his joy and his peace all around and worship him with thanksgiving!
Seeking the Joy of the Lord,