Theological Reflection

Fighting for Joy

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while. But I’ve been putting it off because quite honestly, I haven’t had the time, energy, or motivation to collect my thoughts and press onward.

I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of guy. I’m the constantly optimistic, positive thinker. After taking a version of the Strengths Finder profile (more on that later) I found that Positivity was fairly high in my gift set. That being said, even as a perpetual optimist, I hit valleys just like anyone else.

For a couple of weeks at least, I had to force myself to do anything remotely “spiritual” – i.e. my job. I can’t put my finger on any one thing that triggered this. All I know is that my desires were for anything but God. My affections were not burning for Christ. I never doubted my faith, but I “wasn’t feeling it.”

Have you ever had that feeling? It’s not a fun place to be. Especially when my work-life is built on “spiritual” stuff. With each passing “valley” I’m learning that my faith journey is not easy or on autopilot. When it starts to feel like that, I know I’m headed for a valley. I have to intentionally fight for joy. John 15:10 reveals that Jesus cares about our joy. God is glorified in my delight in him. That’s especially true when I don’t feel like delighting or finding joy.

Sometimes you simply have to do what you don’t want to do, so that you will feel what you don’t feel. We are never promised an easy life. But we are victorious in Christ. God is good and he can be trusted totally.

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