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We laughed and laughed and overflowed with gladness. We were left shouting for joy and singing your praise. All the nations saw it and joined in, saying, “The Lord has done great miracles for them!”Psalm 126:2 (TPT)
Dry Seasons that Steal Our Joy!
Are you struggling to find the joy of the Lord, or to savor His blessings when He gives them to you?
Sometimes, we are okay with sacrifice and suffering, but not comfortable enjoying the goodness of God toward us. We can be so accustomed to providing, striving, surrendering, and accommodating the needs of others that we fail to learn how to take in. Maybe we have catered to the needs of others for so long that we simply don’t know how to receive.
God enjoys blessing us, and we should be thankful to Him and value that He wants to do things that touch our heart and bless us. God has given us so many blessings, and yet dry seasons that steal our joy are often something we all deal with now and then.
The lack of reward during periods of servitude has caused our anticipation and delight to become parched and perish.
God never calls us to serve alone, so much so that we lose ourselves in the serving. He never called us to serve alone and lose the joy of the Lord.
God calls us to serve for Him and with Him! Never alone. We have to cultivate a bond with Him to lean on Him in times of weakness and allow Him to be our strength.
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strengthNehemiah 8:10 (MEV)
It’s Hard to Receive When All You Know How to Do is Give!
Spending a lot of time caring for the requirements of those around us can eventually make it difficult to recognize our own needs.
I have spent most of my life as the family caregiver. Taking care of those in my family suffering from cancer. Many years spent caring for my mother after the passing of my father. Today, I care for my husband, who also battles cancer. Being the caregiver is often a blessing and curse.
It is a blessing to nurture those we cherish. To become so dedicated to caring for others that one loses sight of their own needs is the blight of the caregiver. This became my reality not so long ago when a friend asked me how they could help me or what I needed.
I could not tell them one thing I needed or even wanted. My life has been so wrapped up in caring for everyone else, I failed to find one idea of what I needed for my own self care. Because self care to the caregiver is often non-existent.
All this leads to no longer finding the joy of the Lord or in being given gifts. Or what about even feeling uncomfortable when receiving from others? It’s hard to receive when all you know how to do is give! This makes finding and keeping the joy of the Lord difficult at best.
But God loves to give life and restoration to His beloved children. Just look at the children of Israel, for example.
Barren Bones and Exhausted Dreams!
It’s God’s pleasure to give life to the barren bones and exhausted dreams of our heart. (Ezekiel 37) In Ezekiel’s vision, the valley is full of dry bones. The bones were a representation of the house of Israel, whose hopes and dreams had died when they were conquered and scattered among the nations.
God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones. He was obedient, and they raised to life! This vision was God’s way of saying that His power would restore them to the promised land.
Their circumstances might have seemed hopeless, but restoration was coming. They might have been going through one of those dry seasons that steal our joy. Oh, but restoration is coming!
God is saying to you today,
“Restoration is coming! It is in those intense seasons that extreme joy is required! Hold on to my promises and receive my blessings with gladness overflowing. For I am the God who restores dead dry bones and breathes life into them to live again. Your season may be dead and dry, Oh, but the glory of the Lord of Hosts shines upon you. Lift up your head, listen for the rattle and feel the breath of life restoring you to fullness of joy in me!” says the Lord.
Romans 14:17 defines the kingdom of God.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace and joy.”Romans 14:17 (TPT)
We need to hear God through the fullness of who He truly is!
Do you see right there in Romans it’s saying, For the kingdom of God is filled with three things: RIGHTEOUSNESS ~ PEACE ~ JOY! Those come from a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Take note here that one third of the kingdom of God is filled with joy! One third, that is a lot of joy, my friend, that God gave us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you only hearing God through righteousness?
- Do you hear Him through His peace and holiness?
- When was the last time you heard God through joy and jubilation, or by the ingenuity of the Holy Spirit that gives freedom to restore and heal? It is that freedom that brings extreme joy and laughter.
- When was the last time you laughed?
- Could God be trying to expand your understanding of His character to include more joy and creativity?
- Have you put God in a box and limited your thoughts of who God really is?
- Have the dry season that steal our joy crept in and robbed you of the joy of the Lord?
The patterns of our life so often dictate the patterns of our thoughts!
Patterns in our life are like habits. We do something for so long, or live in certain circumstances for so long, it just becomes our normal. We no longer know how to rise above and be anything more than what we have become. God expects so much more for us. He is waiting in the silence for us to rise up and walk in the joy of the Lord.
In Jeremiah, it says this:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
God’s plans are so much better than our own. He doesn’t want us to settle for less than His best! He has big plans and purpose for us. We must change the patterns of our mind and hope in His plans and promises for our life. Don’t stay stuck in a rut, rise up, latch onto God’s Word and the strength of the Holy Spirit, and resolve to get back the joy of the Lord. Cultivate a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, the giver of all righteousness, peace and joy and take back your joy.
1 Way to Get Back Your Joy: Creating Space For Divine Relationship
‘Because I set you, Yahweh, always close to me, my confidence will never be weakened, for I experience your wraparound presence every moment. My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure. For you will not abandon me to the realm of death, nor will you allow your Faithful One to experience corruption. Because of you, I know the path of life, as I taste the fullness of joy in your presence. At your right side I experience divine pleasures forevermore!’Psalms 16:8-11
If you don’t have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, you will never get back your joy and laughter. You will not relearn how to receive without Him.
We read above in Romans 14 that the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules, rather a kingdom filled with righteousness, peace and joy from the realm of the Holy Spirit.
How do we get righteousness, peace, and joy? From a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in Matthew, freely you have received now, freely give. You cannot give what you don’t have, my friend. And how can you have if you don’t know how to receive?
“You must continually bring healing to lepers and to those who are sick, and make it your habit to break off the demonic presence from people, and raise the dead back to life. Freely you have received the power of the kingdom, so freely release it to others.”Matthew 10:8 (TPT)
I encourage you today to get in the secret place with the Lord and cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit. We get the joy of the Lord through relationship with Him! Divine Encounters reveal your identity in Him to receive the gifts He has for you. My friend, He is waiting for you. He is waiting in the silence to hear from you. He is grieving for deep intimacy with you. We have to learn to trust God in the dry seasons and strive to rest in HIM for the joy of the Lord is our strength!