joy

Don’t Want to be Here!

 

You do know there are many many people who are where they are, but do not want to be there.  Recently I heard the story of a family going on an incredible vacation, but the 14 year old son didn’t want to be there.  Instead of trying to enjoy the trip, he just made everyone else miserable.  How unfortunate for the family and for the young man who couldn’t get over himself and embrace the experience.  No doubt, it’s hard to be some where with someone who doesn’t want to be there.  They don’t say it, but it’s almost as if they see it as their personal responsibility to make everyone else miserable.  You’ve heard it said, and it’s true, “Misery loves company.”  Miserable people are every where today.  You work with some and you go to church with some and they are on your child’s ball team and they are behind the counter.  I was thinking that Judas, the betrayer of the Messiah, had to be a miserable person.  In a moment of humble sacrifice Mary anointed the Lord’s feet with oil and wiped His feet with her hair.  But Judas spoke up and said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”  John 12:5.

Judas killed that sweet moment of fellowship and service to the Lord.  Judas was with the disciples, but he really didn’t want to be.  And that’s what people do when they are in a place they don’t want to be, they say something or do something that ruins what could be an amazing moment for others.  Judas’ main problem is that he simply needed Jesus!  He was with Jesus, but didn’t have Jesus and he was miserable.  

So what do you do when you find yourself in a place you don’t want to be?  Ask God to change your heart and attitude, because you want to be a light where ever you go.  Be careful about what comes out of your mouth, because those with you may absolutely love where they are.  Believe that where you are right now is not where you will always be, God can move you or change you.  Several years ago I went to evening service at our church and I didn’t want to go, but my wife strong armed me.  I went almost mad, but I knew I needed to go even for a witness to my young children.  About half-way in to the song service I noticed how my attitude had changed.  By the time we left that service, I was so blessed to have gone.

Whether you know it or not, you are a vital part of the atmosphere around you.  You either are a catalyst the presence of the Holy Spirit or a hindrance.  Don’t be guilty of blocking the Spirit from moving and don’t be guilty of making everyone around you miserable.  Be changed in Jesus Name and make every place you go meaningful and enjoyable for everyone else.

Everlasting Joy

Nothing can match the joy of the birth of a child.  That joy silently grows for nine months with unseen movements. And possibly no one experiences the joy like the mother, but it is a shared joy with the father. My wife and I experienced such joy the day after 9/11. Our little girl was born and we had joy in the midst of tragedy and sorrow. The unexpected events of 9/11 were never included in the plans of our joyful moment.  Nineteen years later, that joy is still with us and has grown. God meant for the joy He gives us to be everlasting, but it can be stolen or taken away. If you have never done this, find the connection to your joy. If you connect your joy to your circumstances, it will be short-lived and always stolen.  But if you connect your joy to Jesus’ birth and life, it will be everlasting. 

Luke 2:10-11 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,  who is Christ the Lord.”

Anyone can lose their joy by allowing unexpected circumstances to steal it away.  You can lose your joy when you lose a loved one or even when you fail to do those things that keep your faith strong. You can lose your joy when you constantly associate yourself with joyless people. But if Jesus Christ has been born in your life, by faith, you have joy forevermore. This Christmas rediscover and connect your joy to the One “born to you” at Bethlehem. Jesus is our everlasting joy, and nothing can take that away.

John 16:21-22 “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

Signs You are Stuck

  1. The scenery of your life never changes.
  2. You are busy, but you constantly complain.
  3. You have no joy and are seldom happy.
  4. You have stopped dreaming.
  5. You get annoyed by people who are not stuck.
  6. You want everyone else to be stuck with you.
  7. You have stopped asking God to change you.

People get stuck in life for many reasons. Many people have this experience, so if that is you, you’re not alone. There is hope. After I realize I’m stuck, I want to know how to get unstuck, and sometimes that depends on how stuck you are, right? If you’ve been bogged down for years, it may take a little longer to get you free than for someone who has only been stuck for 6 months, but whatever the case, don’t live stuck. No one intentionally gets stuck, we try to avoid the areas of life that can potentially capture us. But the reality of life is that none of us are great navigators and there is quicksand everywhere. So if you’re stuck, understand the possibility of living out your life that way. Understand also that the enemy you can’t see is all about trapping you and leaving you there. So, if you’re stuck, take this seriously and take the following steps to be free.

  1. Realize you will need help.
  2. Ask God to help you get free.
  3. Ask God to send you help to get free. God may send you a person or an opportunity or even a problem, but believe that if you are asking God to help you get free, He is all about that!
  4. Start changing the way you think by positive words. Being stuck is mental, emotional and spiritual, so those are your three focus points of change. How can you start thinking differently? 1. Know that your thoughts have a point of origin, they come from some place. 2. Start determining the point of origin your thoughts come from. Romans 12:2. “And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.” You must become consciously aware of the thoughts in your mind if you want to be free. You must make room for the truth of God’s word to be in the circuit of your thoughts to take down the lies the world and what the enemy speaks. If you can’t detect or tell the difference between a thought that is a lie and one that is truth, you can’t be free. John 8:32. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To determine the origin of the thoughts in your mind, you have to make a conscious decision about what you watch and what you listen to as far as media is concerned. Cut off the music, videos, movies that feed the lies and keep you stuck, and plug in and turn up the volume on music, videos and movies that give you the greatest advantage of being free.
  5. Start changing what you do. Change does not come easy because we all get comfortable when we get stuck, but begin new and greater efforts to spend time in fellowship with God. That means give God something to work with, like an extra 30 minutes in prayer or listening to worship music and meditating on His word.
  6. Look for the glimpses of joy and resurgence of life in your life. Take note and give God thanks for the little changes that are taking place.
  7. Lastly, give glory to God and get a dream from God. God still has something for you to do and it’s big and life-changing in itself. Jesus Christ has come to “set the captives free,” and not just those captive to their sin, but those of us who have been stuck in circumstances we had no control over. Get unstuck! Get free!

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