I was ministering to a woman who had been struggling with depression. After just a short conversation with her, the Lord prompted me to ask her several questions regarding her childhood and then her divorce. Her husband left her for another woman a number of years ago, but she still carried a lot of guilt for not being the wife and mother she thought she should have been. She had struggled with abandonment issues that went back as far as her childhood, as she had been abandoned by her father and mother.
Although she said she had forgiven them, there was a hint of disdain in her voice. As we were praying, I asked her if she would be willing to forgive them and also give up the blame, guilt, and regrets she had been carrying all those years. I explained that once she had confessed her sins to God, she was actually sinning against Him by holding herself in unforgiveness when He had already forgiven her. She was exalting her own opinions over His righteous judgment. I explained that by her doing that very thing, she had placed herself as judge.
“Did God forgive you when you asked Him to?”
“Yes,” she said.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“Because the Bible says that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins when we ask.”
“Then, why are you holding judgment against yourself?”
She started to weep. We prayed again, and this time with true forgiveness toward all involved, even herself, and then she shouted, “I am free. I feel such peace. I am free.” God is good.
There are joy stealers.
That doesn’t mean that joy is totally taken from us, but rather, our joy is suppressed when we are: living in deception, in oppression, in family crisis, experiencing repeated failures and broken dreams, and living a life of regret without a God-given purpose.
Find Your Joy Stealers
Some blocks to your joy are unforgiveness, bitterness, blame, regret, guilt, shame, self-loathing and worldly remorse.
Remove Your Joy Stealers
Godly remorse leads to repentance. Worldly remorse leads to regret, blame, shame, guilt and death. Make the decision today to repent and move on. Apostle Paul instructs believers to forget what is behind, reach forward to what lies ahead, and press toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Jesus Christ (Phil 4:8).
Devise a strategy for joy building. How can I grow in joy? What can I do to experience greater joy in my life? Can I learn to experience true joy everyday? Yes you can! Here are a few ways to begin walking in joy.
Share the Gospel as a joy builder.
As I think about what brings me the most joy, outside of being with my family, serving God comes in first place. For me, there is no greater joy than sharing the Good News of the Gospel.
Learn to share the Gospel. Your joy will be increased exponentially. Start to build a life full of joy and free of regrets.
Read your bible as a joy builder.
I love to read my Bible. It is a time when my spirit is renewed and energized and the joy inside starts to bubble up as I read and study. What happens to your physical body when you go two or three days without feeding it? Well, the same thing happens to your spirit when you do not take the time to feed the Word. You become weak and anemic. Can you get that picture in your mind? You need to be strengthened in your inner man, and spending time in the Word will most assuredly bring you that inner strength and joy.
Use your spiritual gifts as a joy builder
I absolutely love to use my God-given gifts. I am a teacher at heart, so teaching Bible classes brings me great joy. Find your purpose in life. What has God put you here on earth to do? Finding your purpose in God is one of the most exciting and fulfilling accomplishments of your life. When you do find it, it will bring you great joy.
Grow in the fullness of joy and learn to walk in a life filled with hope and promise.
- Lay down any regret you’ve been carrying. Put it behind you.
- Walk in the joy of your salvation and determine that this is the day the Lord has made and you will be glad and rejoice in it.
- God intended for our days to be satisfying. Enjoy every moment.
Enjoy this day: it’s one you can never get back.
Live a life of no regrets.