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Featured How do you guys maintain joy?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Is Antipas taken?97, May 22, 2019.

  1. Is Antipas taken?97

    Is Antipas taken?97 New Member

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    Been christian for maybe almost a year or over, my memories fuzzy. It was really great for starters but overtime I've just spiralled into an unstable mess. The more I tried to get closer to God the further I got. Other people get saved and sure they struggle, but they always overcome, and their filled with joy and assurance, and many of them have more reason to be sad than me. I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth, so I know I'm a spoilt brat saying this, but Seeing people like that feels like a knife on my heart these days. I'm happy others are being blessed, but I sometimes don't want to even hear other people testify, every time they talk about how good God is to them I just remember how pathetic I am and feel alienated. I've stopped projecting my insecurities on God and I'm willing to admit I have no idea what his thoughts are. The real issue is me. I don't get why I'm such a faithless mess and others are so joy filled with God. Before being saved I was spiritually miserable but content physically. I never got depressed, I barely worried (which wasn't good as I had no sense of urgency). But now I'm miserable and a complete wreck. When I should have more reason for joy and less reason to worry. I'm just not good at this, at all. In fact, I feel like some of my faith is strengthened just knowing there's no way on earth I could be doing any of this if it weren't for God's grace. Sometimes he works but you just don't notice. Its not that I rely on feelings. I could handle feeling down, its never progressing, no direction, I have NO joy, I don't want to live like this. I have a hard time finding assurance. I obey God to the best of what I've been given, I prayed daily, morning and evening and in between, I read through scripture, but all the knowledge I've gotten hasn't made my countenance any better. And now I'm effectively starting to backslide out my prayer life.
     
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  2. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

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    So, where will you go?

    So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
    (Joh 6:67-69)
     
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  3. SeventhFisherofMen

    SeventhFisherofMen Invisible Hero Supporter

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    One thing that has helped me is finding my value in spiritual things, like finding value in Heavenly treasure, and one way I do that is pray the armor of God over myself and imagine what I want that armor to look like, pray it is so, and then go about my day knowing I’m protected. Also praying for Jesus and His angels to protect and be with me all day long, it gives me a sort of peace and knowledge that I have a value that is unseen by most and is known between me and God.

    That’s a start.

    When it comes to prayer I just talk to God the way I would a good friend and King and role model.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    +8,255
    Anabaptist
    As written, the Ekklesia were CONTINUALLY full of righteousness, peace and joy.....

    and , the strength of my joy is (daily) union with Yahushua Hamashiach.
     
  5. musicalpilgrim

    musicalpilgrim pilgrim on the sacred music pathway Supporter Angels Team

    +18,748
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    Hi and welcome to the forum! It is a great place to be, with lots of fellowship and Christians to help out. I will pray for you to read the promises of God and rest in them, he is so real and so wonderful,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. lismore

    lismore Legend

    +1,839
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    J O Y

    Jesus First

    Yourself last

    Others inbetween.

    :)
     
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  7. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Don't try to force things, especially with prayer (it's already frustrated you). Let the game come to you so to speak. Baby steps. Sometimes it's good to look at the bigger picture and get your thoughts away from yourself.

    Often God has to undo things in our lives before he will do things that we're not spiritually ready for. God doesn't reward the "I want it all and I want it now" spiritual attitude. Patience is key. We're in it for the long haul. God bless.
     
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  8. Chris V++

    Chris V++ Mostly Water Supporter

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    Hi. Sorry you are feeling down. Do you have access to Christian radio/worship music? Nothing lifts me up like private worship. It's different than study and prayer but can include prayer.
     
  9. Blade

    Blade Veteran Supporter

    +1,287
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    For me its like this.. HE told me.. I am in right standing with Him.. aka righteousness.. NOT by what I do.. but because I believe in Jesus "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"

    And then.. if we take a second to really look at this.. its not us.. well think.. we are told about joy peace armor ..things like that. But.. we put on the whole armor......OF GOD! We are strong in the power of.......HIS MIGHT. The joy of the.....LORD is our strength. The peace of......GOD which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and mind IN Christ Jesus. We are to have the mind OF CHRIST! God has not give us the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind..

    I can keep going.. see its never YOU! Its all Him. See Hes not against you.. His IS for you.. He does not judge you nor condemn you. He IS with you ..IS in you.. He is NOT made at you. This is what we cant understand.. NO ONE treats anyone like this. No matter how we treat Him... His love never changes. Never fades.. Just says.. thats why I died..

    So you take this by faith.. just as you did with salvation. He said it.. you just believe. His Joy is your strength. You dont walk by what you SEE HEAR OR FEEL! By faith ...just receive what HE already did. Even Jesus said.. my peace I give to you not as the world gives.. I dont care what I FEEL LIKE! I HAVE that peace... no matter what it looks like how dark it is or how others act or talk.. I have HIS peace HIS joy. so forth so on.. its MINE! The word of GOD is full of promises

    He said through our brother Paul "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.". See if we doubt let not that man think he will get anything from God. But.. if we know He hears us then we know we have the petitions/prayers we asked for. For His WILL is HIS word.

    So.. if we sin.. just get up dust off *confess our sins He IS faithful and just to forgive us and cleans us from all ALL unrighteousness".

    We all goof up. We ALL feel God is gone.. left the building.. we all feel this at times. But.. we DONT walk in that. So when I fear.. I say..NO God has not given me he spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. I ALWAYS give back what the WORD says.. when DOUBT or thoughts that are not of God. Like..you did this you said that God is mad hates you what ever...I say.. no He said.. if I confess my sins He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleans me from all unrighteousness. And He said.. He will never leave me nor forsake me..

    We all live in this flesh.. we all battle it.. know WHO you are what you ARE in IN Christ though Christ Jesus. What is the gospel? You HAVE BEEN set free. Sin no longer has a hold on you.. it no longer controls you. Those chains are gone... you DONT have to be in that cell any longer..no matter HOW you feel. He already paid the price..
     
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  10. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    I recall reading in the bible some time back that with joy we draw from the well of salvation. So in maintaining a bucket, superglue might help a bit, but sometimes getting a new bucket is most wise.

    One of the biggest thieves of joy is the idolatry of memory, of how things used to be.

    Let go of the past and take hold of what is ahead.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  11. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    I've heard this mentioned as "spiritual dryness", "the dark night of the soul", and some other names. What it seems to boil down to is: in a persons initial turning towards God, they experience some measure of grace which seems to fade away after some period of time. This is not uncommon at all. I've seen it mentioned in the writings of several Saints, I've seen posts on forums discussing it, I've seen articles written about it...so don't feel like you're alone in this struggle! A good example:

    Journey Through Darkness
    Excerpt: Occasionally God grants us the joy and simplicity of heart to pray easily and to believe without crippling doubt. For most of us, those moments are rare, and for long periods in our life they can be non-existent. God often keeps silent and leaves us in a state of spiritual solitude. Genuine faith, though, is grounded in the certainty that His absence is merely our perception of things, our short-sightedness, our stiff-necked blindness. More saints than we can imagine have spent years treading through a spiritual desert, feeling alone and abandoned. What makes people truly holy is not a perpetual inner state of joy, peace, hope and faith. It is caring for the needy when they themselves feel spiritually abandoned. It is offering a smile and a word of comfort to someone who is dying and otherwise would die alone. It is wiping saliva from their mouth, caring for their intimate and often disagreeable bodily needs, bearing the smell of their leprous flesh, or preparing their wasted body for an imminent burial.

    I've asked my priest about this, and one thing he said is: I know it feels like God is very distant, but He is not. He's still right there with us! This is a time for us to engage in spiritual struggle, to try to work our way towards God...and to come to recognize how hard it is for us when we try to depend on our own strength and efforts. If we can become humble, this time will make us so thankful to God. It will teach us that we have to rely on Him, that without Him we can do nothing. Recognizing that we can't do it ourselves should encourage us to draw ever closer to God, to entreat Him for help, for comfort, for strength, for joy, for peace. We should learn how to be like a little child, who when they are hurt or frightened, run to their parent in simple and complete faith, knowing that they will be safe there. His strength is made perfect in our weakness!


    6f2613e0a60e11fd13be369dad464a24.jpg
     
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  12. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    All the above answers are quite good. Just remember this though, it isn't God who wants you to have no joy ! And if you start back sliding then you are allowing yourself to fall into the hands and powers of the enemy. Many have made this mistake. And by the way, you came out of the hands of the enemy when you came to Christ Jesus so I doubt you really want to go back there. If you truly came to Jesus and received the Holy Spirit you have the power through Jesus to fend off the fiery darts of Satan or his minions and stand boldly in the name of Jesus. That's what works best for me if I get spiritually under the weather so to speak.

    See at about a year in, the honey moon is over and it's time to now start acting as a believer in Christ. But it's kind of early on for God to be giving you a serious test too, although He can certainly do as He wishes and will.. But if you let yourself get weak, the enemy is right there to accuse, to drag you down and yes, to steal your joy. If you let him. Don't let your faith fail, it's what got you to Christ to begin with ( the mustard seeds worth you were supplied with before the foundation of the world).
     
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  13. Lost4words

    Lost4words Like a puppy, i need guidance. Supporter

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    Offer up your thoughts, your feelings to God. Ask him to replace them with His Grace.

    God bless you
     
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  14. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Well, if you're a genuinely born-again child of God, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. You can't any closer to God than that.

    I suspect what you mean is that you feel farther from God rather than closer to Him. The truth, though, is that God is never far from any of us. "In Him we live, and move, and have our being," the Bible says. (Acts 17:28) Part of maturing spiritually entails leaving off using what you feel as a basis for deciding what is true and real. What matters, what is true, is what God has said, not what you feel.

    This is because joy is not circumstance-dependent but is found in a Person: Jesus Christ. He is our joy. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, lives within us and in him we have all the joy we can possibly have. Why, then, don't you have this joy welling up within you all the time? Why don't many people who claim to be indwelt by God's Spirit? The key to joy (and all of the Fruit of the Spirit) is in the believer's surrender (Romans 12:1), in his submission (James 4:7), moment-by-moment to the will and way of his (or her) Maker.

    Feeling like this is always the result of focusing on yourself. God wants us to take our eyes off of ourselves and fix them upon Christ. (Hebrews 12:2-3) When we do, God's Spirit begins to work to make us like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18) and, lo and behold, the joy of Christ, of his Spirit, begins to grow in us.

    Really? Have you tried reading the Bible? It's chock-full of God's thoughts.

    See above.

    Then there is something fundamentally awry between you and God.

    Um, He works this way most of the time. Especially when He's the one making the changes and not us trying to make changes.

    What does progress look like, do you think? Sometimes we don't hit anything because we aren't aimed at anything. Do you know what spiritual progress is supposed to look like? Do you know where it is God is intending to take you as His child?

    Assurance is found in obeying the First and Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-38). No one who loves God with all of their being ever wonders if they're truly saved. Do you love God? If so, how do you know you do?

    Lots of "I" here but not a lot of God. That's a problem. You can only produce more of you. Only God can make you like Himself. Walking with God involves a good deal more than you've described here. Is no one discipling you into the faith?
     
  15. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +616
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    People generally show, what they want to be perceived as. Internally, this may or may not be the case.

    Back in the day, I was a musician, and I remember this record company dude came up to us as we were preparing to go out on tour, and shared a few words about joy with us.

    He said you know it, I know it, and most Christians know that the joy of the lord is my strength. He also said, you may not know it yet, but you are going to encounter a lot of adversity on the road. Some days are going to be really rough, and God will appear to be very distant, if he is even there at all. Out of 24 hours, 2 of those you will be on the stage, and for those 2 hours, you are presenting the Gospel, you are relying on the strength of the Lord, don't be afraid to show your joy. Its not being fake, as it is what is ultimately driving you, even on your worst possible days. And the thing was, it worked for us guys in the band, it worked exceedingly well, so much so its how I try to live my life, even though its been a long time since I've been on a stage.

    For someone who has only walked with the lord for a year to recognize this is really awesome. I feel like some of my faith is strengthened just knowing there's no way on earth I could be doing any of this if it weren't for God's grace. Sometimes he works but you just don't notice.

    As far as advice goes... a couple thoughts.

    1. When we don't know where we are going, sometimes a third party can be helpful. I don't know your faith tradition, but it seems a spiritual director could help you discern a path.
    2. Elijah back in 2 Kings 18, did some really amazing stuff with God, and shortly there after things spiraled downward leading to him being in massive despair. Reading his story may be helpful.
     
  16. bmjackson

    bmjackson Newbie Supporter

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    Hello @Is Antipas taken?97

    You have fallen from your first love as most do, but the great thing is that you are unhappy about this and are not going to do what many do which is settling on their lees. Although you have had this life's comforts you know that nothing compares...

    You can take assurance in that you were touched by the Almighty otherwise you would not be experiencing this. I have good news - you can come back to the joy again and do not have to live the rest of your life as some suggest, with that longing unfulfilled.

    I suggest that you get hold of writings from others who have trodden this narrow path for guidance and encouragement. The other path is wide and you can be led astray. I have travelled this path and the hard places enabled me to dig deeply in the hills to find silver. It is a lonely path however as I am sure you have discovered.

    Do not dismay, and do not listen to the enemy. Joy cometh in the morning.
     
  17. carp614

    carp614 Member

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    When I felt as you do now I was put in a position to help others in a selfless way. I had the opportunity to help where there would be no reward for me. I knew that up front and I helped anyway. Serving the Lord with my own two hands, shoveling muck, and doing menial was life changing for me.

    So I encourage you to go find a way to serve others in the name of the Lord. I believe it will help you.
    May the Lord richly bless you!
     
  18. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member

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    Let the Holy Spirit direct your life. I woke up this morning with a melody in my heart. Usually, I would start listening to radio but I just thought "why not let the Holy Spirit have His way", I did just that afterwards until I ran out of songs, then I knew He was done.

    "More of Him, less of you" God bless
     
  19. Is Antipas taken?97

    Is Antipas taken?97 New Member

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    That makes a lot of sense, I wish I knew what was ahead
     
  20. Is Antipas taken?97

    Is Antipas taken?97 New Member

    18
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    Aah, I did have a dark night, it was admittedly a lot worse, in this case it's just me lacking. I just don't get why other people don't experiance this, they just move forward in faith.
     
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