A Fight for JOY!

I love Ransomed Heart Ministries. If you know me at all you know the impact that John Eldredge has had on my spiritual walk. He always has insight that brings me to a thoughtful, intimate place with Christ. I relish the monthly newsletter because I know I’m going to get fed.

I opened up September’s today (I am a little behind) & God gave me wisdom that I have been thinking on all day long.

He shared a personal story where he had prayed and waited for something for 15 years & he thought God was going to answer it the way he wanted & he didn’t! It hurt John’s heart & it made him question God & the power of prayer. He had felt like God was saying, “Yes!” & when it turned out he was wrong he was left feeling weak and bruised. He found it hard to pray…& then through dialogue with God he felt like God was saying…

“Every joy is deeply opposed!”

I was floored! As I finished reading the remainder of the newsletter I was floored again. I assumed that joy was a right. I assumed that joy was the icing on the cake. It was something that automatically comes.

I expect it in my day to day life…big and small, and when it doesn’t…when the hard nocks of life slam the chest door shut on my fingers…I feel abandoned, alone, hurt, & used up by God. I feel He is not for me, but against me. This is a lie from the very pit of Hell.

Joy, real joy, is central to the story. Therefore it is deeply opposed by the enemy. It is worth fighting for in the middle of the battle, but most of us give up trying when we can’t seem to take over the enemies’ camp on the first swing and unlock joy held captive.

I was expecting joy…or what I thought would bring joy.

There is a particular something I’ve been praying over for years…well on 15 years or more. The joy of it hasn’t been revealed to me yet. Others have tried to give me imitations of it. I have tried to create a sense of it on my own, but God has not given me the desires of my heart. I’ve felt jaded by this, misunderstood, and untrusting towards Him.

First, I really do not have the right to demand it of Him. I don’t have the right to assume that due to Him not answering this prayer the way I wish (I’ve waited long enough. It’s got to be out there somewhere), that He is purposefully stealing my joy. He is purposefully making me suffer.

Second, I need to clearly realize that Satan wants to oppose JOY! A life without joy is a life stagnant, self-righteous, and self-absorbed. A person without joy has no concern but for themselves.

Third, He is my shelter! He knows what is for my good, for my hurt, and when it is time.

So, once again I lay my little hopes and dreams at His feet. Once again, I can do nothing with them…they are His to do with as He wishes. I will fight for JOY! I will fight with JOY!

Joy is central & joy is opposed. Joy comes in the morning!

Lord, show me your Kingdom!

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;

you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
–Psalm 5: 11-12

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,

nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;

you will fill me with joy in your presence,

with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
- Psalm 16: 10-11


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