So, I ask you again: Can Christians lose their joy? Actually, yes and no. As we've already discussed, we cannot lose our joy in the sense that it has been removed from us. The joy of the Lord is ever-present in the life of the believer. That being said, though, I believe we can lose our joy in the sense that we misplace it or cannot find it. Think about it, just because something is present doesn't mean we know where it is or how to access it, right?
This thought came to me yesterday afternoon when I finally had the opportunity to see the movie, War Room. One of the main characters made the comment that she still loved her husband and that she knew the love was deep down inside her somewhere, but it was buried under layers of frustration. In that moment, it was like a light came on for me, and I thought, That's exactly how I feel about my joy--like I know it's in there somewhere, but it's buried under many layers of frustration, disappointment and unmet expectations.
It was the first time I had been able to make sense of what I had been feeling. I knew I had to have joy because I'm saved, but I sure didn't feel like it. I was living but certainly not that "life more abundantly" that Jesus spoke of. Now, I finally understand. My joy isn't gone. It's buried. And now that I know that, I know what to do. It's time to get the shovel and start digging. Digging away at the anger, hurt and confusion. Digging deep into the roots of bitterness and resentment. Digging my way through the layers of frustration until I can, once again, access my joy. I'm happy to say that I began the process this morning during my prayer time. I know it won't be an easy road and that there will be times that I feel like I'm not making any progress at all, but the Lord is on my side, and He will help me. After all, He longs for me to have my joy restored.
Dear friend, Satan cannot steal your joy, but he can make it so that you can't find it or access it. But there is hope, and that joy can be made fresh and new. It will take time, hard work and a dedication to time alone with God, but I think you'll agree that it's worth it to find your joy once again. Am I right?
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. - Psalm 51:12