Summary: A message dealing with coming out of those periods of "blue funk" that we all go through sometimes!
Retrieving the Joy
October 4, 2003
Everyone gets down sometimes. Everyone gets dry, spiritually sometimes. Everyone, at one time or another just seems to lose the joy and wonderment they once had in their relationship with God.
I am with you on that. I have had times when I wondered if it was even worth being a Christian sometimes.
So I know how you feel. But also need to tell you that it doesn’t have to stay that way. So if you’re going through one of those times right now, take heart! I’m going to give you some very specific ideas on how to get out of that and retrieve the joy.
If you’re not going through this right now, praise God! But it will happen.
What I want to emphasize tonight is that it does not have to be permanent or debilitating.
Why am I talking about this tonight? Because I just recently came through one of these seasons in my own life.
And I want to come to you as a fellow pilgrim here. And what I want to share with you tonight is how I get out of those times.
Before we go much further, let me tell you that I am NOT talking about happiness. Happiness depends on circumstances and outside forces.
This isn’t a message on how to be “happy.” This message deals with how to get out of those times when you just don’t care about anything, and nothing seems to bring you joy.
I mentioned in a previous message that joy is much deeper than happiness, and is even possible in the midst of great pain, because it has God as both its source and its object.
Disclaimer: I am going to give you five tips to coming out of a blue season. And while these are all actions that you can take, please understand that the outcomes of these actions are the result not of our actions, but rather the working of the Holy Spirit.
We do these actions in faith, believing that God wants us to enjoy life in Him. He sent Jesus so we could have life and have it to the full.
None of what I’m sharing with you tonight is a magic formula or anything like that. It’s all stuff that I have learned over the course of 20+ years of being a believer.
So let’s look at how go get out of the funk, and retrieve the joy, okay?
The first tip I want to give you in getting out of the funk and retrieving the joy is to…
1. Remind yourself you are forgiven.
One of the dangers about holiness churches that stress personal holiness, is that many times we end up living lives of guilt, rather than lives lived in the joy of forgiveness.
We are so afraid of stepping over the line to sin, that we’re forgetting that we can live lives characterized not by fear of failure, but rather by a joyous, victorious life.
If you have been struggling with sin lately, this is something you need to get a hold of, because not only does it help with guilt, it can also help us to break the cycle of sinning, then feeling so guilty that we figure we might as well just keep on.
Lamentations says that God’s mercies are new every year, right? NO – every day.
Isaac Smith, our District Superintendent shared that one of the first things hi does when the alarm goes off in the morning is to pray – “Thank You Lord, that I’m forgiven.”
1 John 1:9 says this:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
A sin confessed is a sin forgiven. We may not feel like it, but it’s the fact, according to God’s Word.
I heard a pastor say recently that just as sin is real, so is forgiveness. So I say to you, remind yourself you’re forgiven, and you’ll find yourself living a life with more victory.
The Bible says that God throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. He chooses to not remember our sins. He throws our sins as far away from us as the East is from the West.
And not only forgives, He purifies. With His purity, not our own.
And you know, let me give you something else to chew on here. We don’t gain the victory – the victory has already been won. Jesus’ triumph at Calvary was your victory and mine.
Live like a victor, and quit surrendering to the beaten enemy. Live life with your head up. You don’t have to continue the cycle. With the power of the Holy Spirit living in you, you can say no to sin. It’ll help you retrieve the joy.