There will be a time or times in your journey with God when you hit the wall. What's that feel like? Not good. It's like watching a race car traveling 200 miles per hour and then smack, the car hits a wall, is crushed and no longer usable. Hitting the wall can be one of the most painful and discouraging times of your life. You feel joyless. You feel tired. You feel worried. You feel anxious. You feel hopeless. You feel lost. You wonder how you got there. And you wonder how you will get yourself put back together.
God's prescription may surprise you. You think you have to do something to move forward. Actually, it is the direct opposite. It's not in trying harder to find the joy you lost. In fact, one of the reasons you may be confused is you have been doing more for God than ever. You may be trying harder than ever to serve God. And the results - even more frustration. There is only one answer when you hit the all - abiding.
Jesus says if you want much joy in your life, you must do one thing - remain in Him. When a branch remains in a vine, the connection point gets bigger over time. That connection point is a picture of abiding. The longer the branch remains, the bigger the connection grows. The bigger the connection, the more sap flows through the branch. The more sap, the more fruit on the branch. And what is crazy about this? It took no more work for the branch to get more sap. What did it take? Just remaining in the vine. In the same way, the much joy in our journey with God does not come from more work. It comes from abiding, remaining. It comes from being with Him. It comes from walking in nature, retreating, trusting, resting, praying, meditating, listening, and not running, attacking, controlling, doing, and talking.
Getting the joy of the Lord back comes from recognizing all the grace around you and being grateful for it. Grace is staying in the vine. Grace is seeing Jesus everywhere because grace is all around us. Grace is growing our connection to God. So let it happen. Abide. Remain. And the joy will flow again in your life.
Scripture: John 15:11 (NIV)
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Prayer: Joy Again
“Father, joy is grace recognized. And you want me to see grace and see the grace Jesus saw. You desire for me to full of joy. But I have been confused about how you do this in my life. I thought I had to do more for you to get the joy again. Somehow, I thought I could create joy by doing more good works. I am done with that approach to you. If I had to pick between knowing you and doing for you, I pick knowing you. If I had to pick between being with you or accomplishing things for you, I pick being with you. I want to see you instead of being busy for you. Stop me God. Help me to remain, to abide, to continue to be at home with you. Let's talk, laugh, visit, remember, dream, hope, and live. Father, I love you. The joy is coming back. The sap is flowing again. The fruit of joy is beginning to grow again. Praise Your Name. In Jesus' Name, Amen."