My legs felt like they had heavy weights strapped to the ankles as I lumbered up the stairs to class. It was the second semester of my first year of seminary and I was dead tired. Juggling school, a full-time job, and two young children during the first semester turned out to be too much for me. To top it off, my husband worked out-of-town during the week, so I was like a single parent Tuesday-Friday.
I prayed silently, Lord, if you want me to continue in seminary, please restore my joy because I don’t have it anymore.
As I walked through the door of the classroom, God supernaturally answered my prayer. I felt something like a gust of wind jettison through me from head to toe and I immediately felt joy again. When I saw the professor, I playfully bopped him on the head with my notebook. He turned a bright shade of red and laughter filled the room. (I regret doing that to this day but I couldn’t contain my joy!) When I looked at the faces of my classmates, I was overjoyed to see them again and felt giddy as I sat at my desk.
How could I go from one state of mind to the next—in a split second?
It could only be the work of the Holy Spirit. My joy had been renewed. John 16:24 says, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
Are you lacking joy today?
Joy is one of the fruits of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22). That means we have access to joy at all times because the Holy Spirit resides in us 24/7. When we’re feeling down, do we request joy, or do we settle for a demeanor that is short of upbeat?
God can, and will renew our joy if we ask him to do so.
We also need to remember the most joyful thought of all. Our heavenly Father loved us so much that through his Son’s sacrifice, we will spend eternity with him. No matter what we are going through, that should cause us to smile. Psalm 51:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” Peter also talked about this concept in 1 Peter 1:8 when he said that through believing in Jesus Christ, we are filled with an “inexpressible and glorious joy” as a result of the salvation of our souls.
If you’re feeling sad today, claim the joy Scriptures over your life. There are many. Also ask God to renew your joy through the Holy Spirit. We shouldn’t dwell in sadness. Joy is there for the taking.
Categories: Devotion of the Week