Fight for Joy
“I can only imagine that it can be hard going for joy at times,” she said.
At that particular time I was travelling well and was focused only on the present and, what’s more, I didn’t want to go back even in my mind’e eye… after all that is the very place where battles take place. I was much happier cocooned in the present happy.
Time happens. Then last week across my facebook page came a message from Jonathan Cahn (JC) (link here if you’re interested). I let it play while I did the dishes. He talked about how we must fight. That life IS a battle. Stop running from it. Don’t try and hide from it, but, turn, face it, and fight. He mentioned ‘fighting for joy’, and I thought of her comment. JC continued, ‘When you cannot see anything to be thankful for, you can either sit and be overwhelmed OR you can choose to fight it. King David said “Why are you cast down, O my soul? Hope thou in God!” ‘
I remember some of my fights for joy. I can see myself curled up in the bottom of the wardrobe crying hopelessness because I could see that this belief was crippling me but for all I was worth i could not think of what I should think. My fighting was not very powerful. I felt so defeated but God saw my desire to fight and get out of the mindset. He sent someone who was able to help me see another point of view. Even then I had to repeatedly choose the new over and over. Think on it, mull it over, let it begin to take a hold inside my head. I had to repeatedly choose. It’s been a battle that I’ve lost some days but with time… and practice… am winning more. I nodded in agreement as JC said ‘God will give you the strength but YOU do the choosing to fight’.
I shared JC’s link with a few others. We’ve been chatting through the week. One talked about how he had to ‘fight the fight of faith for his healing when given a ‘medical death sentence’. Believing Ephesians 6:12 (not fighting flesh and blood but rather a spiritual battle) and 2 Corinthians 10:5 (bringing every thought captive), he asked God to confirm to him whether to follow the doctor’s prognosis or not. Feeling sure that God had said to follow the ‘not’ route, he made a conscious decision to not entertain negativity or ‘sympathy givers’,but instead to live as if he was healthy. Taking the ‘not’ route was not saying the doctor’s were wrong in their diagnosis but rather that he would not be taking their prescribed course of action ie., go home and put your affairs in order and enjoy what you’ve got left of your grandchildren.They gave him 3 years at most (I’m sure receiving that would have sapped your joy) and he is now at 27yrs and counting. What a reward for his fight! But, what a lot of individual battles that must have been, each one requiring him to choose his thoughts, choose his actions, choose his healing. Life is a fight!
Another shared how she is right now in the valley of overwhelm and despair. I found myself trying to encourage her ‘over’. ‘Over’ because JC said You cannot overcome without something to ‘come over’. It’s looming large and ugly in front of her. I feel her pain and despair. “Come on over,” I’m shouting inside myself. But, I can’t make it happen for her, no matter how much I want her to have joy instead of this heaviness. The thoughts inside her head are her’s to fight. Every one must choose their own destiny. I ache for her to defy the bondage and fight for joy. Mine is to encourage and pray for her.
Hubby and I lay in bed on our way to sleep pondering these fights for joy. He remembered that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. “He works in us as we give him permission and the fruit of that work is Love, JOY, Peace, etc. We have to fight all the things that come in and rob that joy away.” I join the dots and realise that, although I think I have won a few battles in the fight for joy, actually we will be fighting this in one form or another until we leave this world. Honestly, that thought makes me feel a little battle weary.
Until I remember 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.…
So, to my friend who thinks it can be hard going for joy at times, You betcha! But what a prize. I’ll keep fighting on.