“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Have you ever had a joyful event in your life clouded by fear?
A time where you should be experiencing nothing but happiness, but somehow anxiety creeps in too, as an unwelcome guest.
I think I can safely say many of us have experienced something similar. For me, it was pregnancy after loss.
We lost our first child, our daughter Taylor, to a fatal birth defect. As we found out we were expecting again, we were elated. But also scared.
I didn’t want to go through the pregnancy expecting the worse, though. I made a decision to try my absolute best to not let fear steal my joy.
It hasn’t been easy, and some days I fail. But with God’s grace, the journey of pregnancy after loss has been filled with more joy than fear.
No matter what situation you’re going through, I think these things can help you to choose joy.
Write it Down
Make it a commitment to yourself and to God – “I will not let fear steal my joy.”
You can get more detailed, of course, about your specific situation but just the act of writing it down makes it a lot more real.
When I wrote down that I wasn’t going to let fear steal my joy on my daily prayer pages and gratitude journal, it was a reminder every day of my desire to choose joy over fear.
Dig Deep into God’s Word
The Bible discusses fear and joy quite a bit. Here are just a few verses you can dig into.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:6-7
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
P.S. – If you’re in the market for a new Bible, I’m loving my Beautiful Word Bible!
Another thing that has helped me is to stay connected. Whether it’s an online group or in person, visiting with others can help.
I got more involved with church – started going to the Wednesday night dinner and Bible study (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World is fantastic!) and started volunteering at the tech booth.
Getting to know others provides a connection that we crave. Even better when these people lift us up in prayer.
I’m sure there are several other ways to choose joy over fear each day, but these are the things that have helped me the most: Writing it down, studying the Bible, and getting connected.
It’s my prayer this has provided you with some tangible ways to start choosing joy each day.
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