Joy Restored

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Today was terrible. I felt as though I’d been hit with wave after wave of bad circumstances and personal failures. By dinnertime I’d spiraled into a seemingly hopeless pit of despair.

Of course, the message at church was on joy; I didn’t feel very joyful. The pastor shared a list from John MacArthur of things that steal joy.  I felt conviction creeping in as I heard “morbid self-analysis, self-centeredness, and guilt” listed.

Of course.

I’d had a lousy day, but not because of circumstances…they’re just things that happen.  It was because of my lousy attitude. If I did happen to fall in an area, it was only made 10 times worse by my own self-beration.

I realized that my focus had not been on my loving and merciful Heavenly Father, or on my kind and compassionate Savior, or on the faithful indwelling Holy Spirit. I was looking inward rather than upward, so of course I was miserable.

After some time in prayer, and getting an opportunity to reach out to a newcomer at church, I was already feeling much better. I’m not suddenly “all good” now, but I am intensely grateful for such a forgiving and gracious God.

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