Fight for Joy

Dear Friends,

Have you ever felt negativity pounding at your thoughts and your head hurting from the bombardment?

I have.

Every direction I turned a thought, word spoken or attitude seemed to come at me until I felt buried under the bricks of negativity.

I felt beaten down and exhausted.

The ugliness of negativity kept popping up again and again. It was like trying to hold down a beach ball under water. It would slide out from under my hand and pop back to the surface in another place.

That’s when I knew I needed to fight for joy!  I was at the end of what I could handle. It was ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

  • Enough of negativity.
  • Enough of pointing out the worst and seeing nothing good.
  • Enough of letting the enemy win.

I needed the reminder.

  • There is good in this world.
  • There is good in my situation.
  • There is joy even when negativity is fighting to win.

I had to tell myself again and again… FIGHT FOR JOY!!!

I found myself boxing the air like Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail… fight, fight, fight!

It was time to “take it to the mattresses!”  Fight, fight, fight!!!

I found myself pleading, “Jesus, help me!”

And that’s when His grace broke through.

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ — that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective.

~Colossians 3:1-2 (The Message)

My eyes were focused on the dust being kicked up instead of the Light that penetrates and spreads across the landscape.

In our lives, we are bombarded by negativity. It can come from our own thoughts or from the actions and words from others. Either way what we allow to rule the day determines what wins.

With negativity nobody wins!

  • I don’t win because I’m looking at the worst of the situation instead of what is good.
  • Those who listen to negativity don’t win because now they are focusing on the negative as well.

How can we fight for joy so we win?

Engage the Positive

  • We have a natural bent toward what’s wrong instead of what’s right. We tend to complain before we compliment.
  • The word engage means “occupy the attention or efforts of; to bind, as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath.” We must actively engage the positive.
  • Philippians 4:8 says:  “Always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.” 

Speak in Love 

  • In Ephesians 4:29 we read, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” 
  • There are times my own let-me-tell-you comes out and gets me in trouble. Those words are not usually filled with love. Instead I’m fuming about some situation going not my way.  During those times, my words and actions are not building others up or benefiting anything but my own pride.
  • When we catch ourselves shooting off a negative thought or word, STOP! Even if that means putting our own fingers to our mouths and shushing our own words.

Feed The Soul

  • The culture of negativity doesn’t take a break. We are human and we grow weary — especially in the fight for joy.   We must break away from the negativity by giving ourselves outlets and ways to find joy.
  • Feed the Soul Good Nourishment – I find when my thoughts and words are negative, it’s because my soul is hangry. When I’m physically overtired and hungry I get hangry (slang word for feeling irritable or angry as a result of being hungry.)  We can get hangry spiritually as well.  When I’m not nourishing my soul good stuff, I’m going to end up hangry.  Good soul nourishment can look like this:
    • Get outside away from people and breathe deep.
    • Listen to music that soothes the mind. (My favorite is worship music. This music turns my attention from me and my situations to God and His greatness.)
    • Read God’s Word –  “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word.” (Psalm 119:28) “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)   When we are hangry, eat of God’s words. They bring life to our heart, soul and mind.
    • Talk to God –  We often do this last.  It’s like when we search for something and say “I found it in the last place I looked!”  Of course we did!  We don’t keep searching after we find what we’re looking for. This is the same with God. We search for joy down different avenues and feel lost. But when we look to the Creator of joy we find it. We often know in our hearts He is the joy creator but we neglect to bring our negativity to God and exchange it for joy. Talking to God about our situations, listening to His Truth about it and following His direction will bring joy to our hearts.

When we engage the positive, speak in love and feed our soul, joy wins the fight against the onslaught of negativity in our lives.

I don’t know about you but that feels good! Winning the fight for joy feels good and is good!

Don’t let negativity win, FIGHT FOR JOY!

Praying for you!

Rachel

8 thoughts on “Fight for Joy

  1. Thanks Rachel, such a good word! I want to settle these things in my heart. I can get so off track. But God’s ways are so amazing! This morning I was reading,”above all things, guard your hearts for everything you do comes from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m seeing so many people write along this theme right now, not least of all Brene Brown in her latest blog post. We’ve got to power through b/c the alternative is giving up–and we’re not here to do that. That I know. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes!!! Great stuff (again)! Negativity seems to be the blight on modern society and its effects are emotional, physical, and most certainly spiritual. No one is immune. It’s so easy to slide down that slippery slope and so hard to climb back out; it’s a fight, a struggle, a battle that we cannot ignore. As beloved children of the Most High, we do not have to fight this battle alone. King David was so open about his struggles and fought for his heart to return to God. It is the good fight, and victory in Jesus is assured! Turn up that worship music open your Bible (or app), hangout with that Godly friend, and pray it through! The struggle is real the victory is in Him! Thank you for sharing your heart. You are a blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

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