How do you regain joy?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I am depressed and finding it difficult to stay positive on a regular basis. When I am alone, singing songs and hymns helps a lot, but it's tough to be alone between work and family.

    I'm finding a lot of disappointment in my church family...though the place is decent for the most part, an evangelist came in that was horrible and really triggered some nasty memories, which started me down this spiral.

    Normally, it's relatively easy for me to stay positive no matter what the situation, often using humor to cope or just having faith that things will work out, which they always do.

    But...one thing keeps happening after the other. Over and over and over and over and it's wearing me down so very much and keeps triggering memories of things that normally wouldn't be on my mind and often, I don't even realize they ARE on my mind until tears are rolling down my face and I'm suddenly lost in thought. A number of times, it's right at the verge of falling asleep and BAM! A very bad memory or a horrible thought about the future pops up.

    I don't get it and can't seem to fight this one off with music and praying. The feelings of being stuck and overwhelmed are...well, overwhelming.

    ?????
     
  2. saturneptune

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    Gina, again, this is just my opinion, and sorry you are going through a tough time. I believe that joy, a gift of the Spirit, is always with a believer. It might be way down deep, but it is there. So is love, kindness, gentleness, hope faith, etc... Praying to the Lord and faith can bring it to the surface. Things like happiness come and go, a surface thing, but joy is always there, ready for you to tap it. Joy never left you. Joy is of the Lord. Feelings come and go with circumstances, gifts of the Holy Spirit are always with you.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    It may be necessary to speak with your physician. Diet and exorcize can effect this as well. But the best scripture on this is:

    Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
    Php 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
    Php 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
     
  4. abcgrad94

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    I think praise is the key to restoring joy.

    That said, I haven't "felt" truly joyful since being diagnosed with pre-diabetes. It has really affected me physically and as a result, my spirit as well. Health problems do that sometimes.
     
  5. Dale-c

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    Gina, I have not dealt with this myself a great deal but I have heard my pastor mention a book called "christians get depressed too" or something like that.

    The fact is, a Christian can go through periods of depression, the Psalms are full of such.

    I don't have an easy answer for you, I wish I did. I will suggest the Psalms especially though.

    Also remember that even in this, God is working out His will to strengthen your faith. It is not fun, but as one who loves God, it is working for your ultimate good.
     
  6. Dale-c

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  7. righteousdude2

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    Your Relationship with Jesus Cannot Be Based Solely [soul-ly] Upon...

    ....feelings. This is one of the most effective tools/weapons the devil uses to place a spiritual wedge between us and God.

    Salvation, and all that it encompasses is not based completely on "feelings!" The fact of being saved is also based on sound doctrine and Scripture.

    Let me explain. If a person based, for example, their marriage to another solely upon feelings [in other words, other words, other words, "I feel in love'" or, "I feel married"], the first day they wake up and see their spouse in hair curlers and without makeup, they may not feel so much in love as they did, just the night before! Just because you may not feel married at that particular moment in time, does not mean that you are not married.

    The marriage is based on feelings as much as fact [marriage license, the ceremony, etc.], and that is also what the Child of God must base their salvation and relationship with God on. A "healthy balance" of both facts and feelings.

    The fact that you are not feeling joy does not mean that there is not joy within you, waiting to be expressed. However, some how the enemy has convinced you that spiritual joy has escaped, and you are trying to get it back, to no avail [according to you].

    Once you forget about your joy being based solely upon feelings and address the issue with the fact that "joy'" is also something that God has promised to place within the believer, you will be on your way to finding the joy you think you've lost.

    Of course, the one person makes a good point; you may be clinically depressed, and that is something you should explore, should you not be able to put the pressure of having the sense of joy you remember having, behind you. It is important that you don't allow either your feelings or depression to hold you hostage.

    I have clinical depression, and I take meds for it. And even in the midst of depressive episodes, I have clear spiritual joy. I have joy, because I confess the Scriptures that clearly tell me that God is the author of the joy in me, and nothing will quench that joy. NOTHING!

    I will be praying for you, Gina, because the word tells us to rejoice with another when they rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn. Sometimes the church forgets this teaching. It is important that we, as a body, take the time to experience [through prayer and thoughts] the feelings [emotions and sensations] of other body members [parts] when they hurt.

    What I mean can be best explained in this way. When you have a toothache, it is not just the tooth that hurts. The entire body experiences the pain, one way or another, and in fact; all the body will suffer when the tooth is infected and aching. Think about it. Even the stomach suffers. If the tooth hurts to be bad to chew food, even the stomach will go in an instant fast.

    Here's hope you regain the joy you have lost. Like the widow who lost the coin. Once she found it, joy broke out all over the house. I'll be waiting for that joy to break out of the prison it is currently being held in. :thumbs:
     
  8. 12strings

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    I think a helpful place to start might be here...Prayer and praise may very well be path out of depression, so it sounds like you are already pointed in the right direction...However, it may help to further focus your prayers with 2 words/ideas: Hope, and Confidence.

    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.
    (Psalm 42:11 ESV)

    Pray that God will renew the confidence in Him that gives you a sure hope of better days to come. We know this because God has already given that which cost him the most:

    31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
     
  9. Aaron

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    We're not told to sing when we're depressed or afflicted. We're told to pray, James 5:13. If words don't come to you, God has given us the Psalms of David. Those are prayers of the Spirit of Christ offered up on our behalf.

    And though this sounds trite, have you read "Hinds Feet on High Places"?
     
  10. 12strings

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    I will also say Thanks, Gina, for reminding me of my need to be praying the psalms and praising God in my private life.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Gina....I dont get very good sermons from the guys around me so I listen to at one good hour long sermon a day from Sermon Audio. Personally I like Sinclair Ferguson's. Find him very edifying....he makes me think. I highly recommend him my sister & Sinclair will get you right because he will impart to you the message of the Christian Gospel Good News.

    I also have read Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones book on "Spiritual Depression" can get that in paperback.

    Both MLJ & Ferguson are totally committed Christian Pastors & excellent in imparting the Christian message. :love2:
     
  12. 12strings

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    I disagree about not singing:

    1 Thess. 5:16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

    In all circumstances, at all times (even when depressed or afflicted), we are to rejoice, pray, and give thanks to God...any of these could be singing, but especially the rejoicing and giving thanks to God for what he's already done...this can build confidence and hope for what God can do in the future.

    As Deitrich Bonhoeffer said: "It is not in our life that God's help and presence must still be proved, but rather God's presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ...I find no salvation in my life history, but only in the history of Jesus Christ."
     
  13. Matt22:37-39

    Matt22:37-39
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    I know how you feel, I'm reading this book right now and have many times.

    It was written in 1870 and is a must read for all believers. I highly recommend it!!!!



    THE CHRISTIAN'S SECRET TO A HAPPY LIFE

    by Hanna Whitall Smith

    CONTENTS:

    Part I - THE LIFE

    1. Is it Scriptural?

    2. God's side and man's side.

    3. The life defined G

    4. How to enter in.

    Part 2 - DIFFICULTIES

    5. Difficulties concerning consecration.

    6. Difficulties concerning faith.

    7. Difficulties concerning the will.

    8. Difficulties concerning guidance.

    9. Difficulties concerning doubts.

    10. Difficulties concerning temptations.

    11. Difficulties concerning failures.

    12. Is God everything?

    Part 3 - RESULTS

    13. Bondage or freedom.

    14. Growth.

    15. Service.

    16. Practical results in the daily walk.

    17. The joy of obedience.

    18. Divine Union.

    19. The chariots of God.

    20. The life on wings.
     
  14. Matt22:37-39

    Matt22:37-39
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    Here is a little bit from the book

    " "Yield yourself to God" (Romans 6:13). "Present yourself a living sacrifice to Him" (Romans 12:1). "Abide in Christ" (John 15:4). "Walk in the light" (1 John 1:7). All these Scripture
    commands become possible for you because you are aware that your will can act and can take God's side. Whereas, if you had to rely on your uncontrollable emotions, you would sink down in helpless despair.

    When this feeling of unreality or hypocrisy comes, do not be troubled by it. It is only in your emotions and is not worth a moment's thought. Only see to it that your will is in God's hands. See that your inward self is abandoned to His working, that your choice, your decision, is on His side. Then leave it there. Your uncontrollable emotions, attached to the mighty power of God by the choice of your will must inevitably come into captivity and give their allegiance to Him.

    Will What God Wills

    The will is like a wise mother in a nursery. The emotions are like crying children. The mother makes up her mind to have her children do what she believes to be right and best. The children complain and say they won't do it. However, the mother knows that she is the one in control and pursues her course lovingly and calmly in spite of all their complaints. The result is that the children are sooner or later won over to the mother's course of action. They fall in with her decision and all is harmonious and happy. But if for a moment that mother should think that the children were the masters instead of herself, confusion would reign. At this very moment there are many who are confused, simply because their feelings are allowed to govern instead of their will.

    Remember that the real thing in your experience is what your will decides, not what your emotions decide. You are in far more danger of hypocrisy and untruth in giving in to your feelings, than in holding firm to the decision of your will. If your will is on God's side, you are no hypocrite in claiming at this moment the blessed reality of belonging completely to Him, even though your emotions are not in agreement.

    I am convinced that throughout the Bible the expressions concerning the "heart" do not mean the emotions (that which we now understand by the word "heart"). Rather, they mean the will, man's own central self. The object of God's dealing with man is that this "I" may be yielded up to Him, and this central life given up to His total control. It is not the feelings of the man God wants, but the man himself."
     
  15. Aaron

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    Weeping may endure for a night . . .

    . . . but joy cometh in the morning.

    And it won't be anything you did, or any emotion you worked up, so for the time being, simply humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
     
  16. Benjamin

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    Gina, you might also take a look at the physical side of this:

    Increase Serotonin with 21 Foods for a Better Mood


    http://www.organicauthority.com/health/increase-serotonin-foods-for-a-better-mood.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
     
  17. Gina B

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    Thank you for your helpful replies. All of them had something to benefit me!

    I got tingly and almost passed out, and it hit me this happened about five years ago. My serotonin is actually too high rather than too low, and for whatever odd reason, at the same time, my thyroid levels will bounce high to low. The combination of that with very high inflammation (meaning high pain levels) makes me an emotional wreck.

    Even more stupid...I should have remembered but when you're confused and depressed (and sleeping 14-16 hours) it's easy to forget! The tingling up my spine that happens before passing out is what jogged my memory.

    Follow up blood tests for a few things are in November and follow up appt. at the end of November.

    Part of it definitely is stress, which really threw me off because it just so happened to coincide with a lot of that, so the combination was just bad timing.

    Meaning I need both the medical and spiritual aspects of it all to get through it!

    Singing...I know myself and for me, singing is often just praying put to words. Whether or not it is a "spiritual prescription" does not matter, as it is not wrong to do and has always been my strongest ally against bad influences. It's rare for it to not help, so I know things are critical when either listening or singing doesn't help. For the person who said that it's not in the Bible, I understand your perspective and appreciate the counsel, but please also realize that this is something that I believe our Father taught me at a very young age to help get through tough times and it's a major part of my spiritual life. My human nature makes it a little rough sometimes to pray without using the word "I" a lot or interjecting requests and such, so when I say that singing is often the same as prayer for me, that's because it helps me focus on praise for what is instead of sorrow for what isn't and keeps the words from becoming about me the whole time. It puts things in the right priority...praise G-d enough for who He is and for our awesome creation and dealings in our life, and it helps my puny human view of life branch out beyond myself and focus on the beauty and magnitude of the truth, which goes way far beyond and totally minimizes or melts away the things I'm viewing as making life too unbearable.

    That's why it is scary when it doesn't work. Deep inside I do know the truth and how petty my worries can be, so to not feel that is weird...puts me in a dry spiritual place and that's the most horrible place a Christian can be in when one is used to falling back on the Holy Spirit and feeling that closeness and then suddenly being blinded by my own self and not being able to find that but knowing it must be within reach.
     

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