I've often wondered why so many Christians lack joy in their lives.
I think, in fact, this is the million dollar question for both Christians and non-Christians alike. If we as believers have the joy that is Christ living within us, then why are we, on average, a pretty unhappy people?
Now, I say this and I must note that not ALL Christians are joy-less. I have plenty of friends that I look at and all I see is Jesus. They radiate Him through their lives and their attitudes. This is a beautiful thing to witness and indeed how it should be. So again, why and how are some of us missing that?
Let's take myself as an example. I love God with my whole heart. I want my life to exhibit Him in every way. But I'll have to admit, I feel it rarely does. Would I consider myself an unhappy person? Not entirely, but I certainly don't feel as if I possess an inexplicable joy. Or lets take just any random person who tries in all ways to be closer to God, they persevere in trying to be the person, parent and spouse God would want them to be, you'll find them walking in the Word, praying daily if not hourly, yet they still feel worthless, trapped, unloved and forgotten. I know these people too.
I just recently started a Bible study called "The Heart of the Problem" by Henry Brandt and Kerry Skinner and while some may look to this study to help them walk through addictions, loss, etc., I decided to allow it to walk me through my complacency; complacency in life, in my marriage, and in my walk with Jesus.
Before going any further, I have to pay particular attention to the fact that I am being blatantly honest here. Raw and vulnerable are probably better suited for what I'm laying out on the table, but it is my hope that by using this as a means to be accountable, so too I will rediscover life as God would have me experience it.
So in my venture to shed light on my own "Heart of the Problem" I'm only through day five and I barely feel as if I can keep up. In depth with Scripture, I'm tossed about reminded verse after verse that the heart of my problem and ultimately the reason for my lack of joy is my very own hang-ups and sin. I really didn't need a book to tell me this, though it's a helpful guide, it's in black and white all over God's Word.
Through my study in these preliminary days I've found that I'm not happy because I leave little at the foot of the cross. I commit few things to Christ's hands. And I relent almost never to the command of my Savior that He may handle even my smallest affairs. And this is not only my problem, but this is my sin as well. I look around me and I see all too well how I have allowed life and all the logistics of it to get the best of me, focusing less and less on Jesus. Which, looking back on my verse for the week it all makes sense…2 Corinthians 11:3 (New International Version) ~ 3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
As much as I would like to think this hasn't happened to me, the unfortunate truth is I have let the world get to me with all it's stress and anxiousness, the expectations and constant "you, you, you" messages and I tend to forget the simplicity and splendor that Christ has conquered all of this by dying on the cross. WOW! That's a tough pill to swallow.
It's not about me, it's about Him. There is no need to be anxious; Jesus has already dealt with it. No stress is too big or small to lay at His feet. And the only thing that should be constant is my rest in Christ.
And I could go on and on. But I'll stop here not only because this isn't an exegetical analysis, but instead my personal thoughts and because I fully intend to share my journey with this study as time goes on. These posts can be found under the category "Heart of the Problem". Hopefully, as it inspires me in my relationship with Jesus, I will pray it will do no less for you.
Now on a completely different topic…Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home is celebrating her 2-year Blogiversary so hop on over there and send her some congrats! She's also hosting a give-a-way in celebration! Make sure you share her link with others and spread the love! Her blog is great and she is awesome at what she does! Check her out HERE!