Finding Joy

In Black Coffee Perspectives, Education, Family, God, Patrick James by Patrick JamesLeave a Comment

So my Black Coffee Perspective today (usually early morning) will be an afternoon coffee break. It’s always a good time for coffee, right? Hopefully it is also a good time to think about other perspectives. So how do we find our joy in troubling times?

Finding our Joy, is often a serious task. We concentrate, ponder, ruminate, and mull over so many things, that our minds are often too worn-out for much else. We wake up in the morning and go through the motions… robotically handling our normal “dailies” while wondering when our lives will return to some semblance of normal. When can we dare to be happy again?

We certainly shouldn’t be listening to any news outlets, simply because all they have seemed to accomplish over the last year is stir up emotions and fears. This “new” way of reporting what’s happening in the world, has all of us asking; What is really going on around here?

How are we supposed to find any type of Joy, Peace or Rest when things seem so bleak?

As a former firefighter/EMT, I have often found it difficult finding peace. The memories of the things I have seen or done in my past always pervade my thoughts. I learned to thrive within all the chaos, not realizing at them time, just how much the Spirit helped me. Now when these things creep into my thoughts, I turn to His words and force myself to heed and practice them while allowing the Spirit to help me become more successful in finding my Joy.

“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

The King James version seems antiquated at times, so how about we look at a few others?

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” NIV

“casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” AMP

We need to practice this EVERY day. Papa God has given us so much that we often find ourselves mired in the mud and the muck of all the choices in life. Which way should I turn? Which door should I walk through? It’s often impossible to make good choices on our own.

Many people look to the Holy Spirit to handle our needs, which is exactly what we all should be doing. There are so many gifts the Spirit has for us, that we as humans lack much understanding of just how much. Two of the greatest of those gifts that we all can use more of are; Comfort and Joy. A calm mind processes quicker and with better results, and the regenerative healing of the Spirit helps us move forward more efficiently finding our joy.

I know that during trying times, many of us are running around stressing about this and that… It is a human reaction that we all must work to overcome and conquer.

Some scurry about trying to do as much as possible, but accomplishing very little, the end results are often contrary to the immediate need. Others have been trained to thrive in stressful situations and use a calculated approach to adapt and overcome. Although both approaches take a toll on our physical and mental health, one is often more immediate and the other takes years to manifest.

“Idle hands are the devil’s tools” is a phrase most of us have heard over the course of our lives, but I contend;

When we are working, God is resting. When we are resting, God is working.
Now just imagine how much He could get done, if we just surrendered to His will, rested our minds and trusted that He is working for us?

Before any of you start saying; “So we can just be lazy and everything will be handed to us?” No, absolutely not. God doesn’t want us to be lazy. He wants us to do everything we can physically and mentally, but also wants us to recognize the point when we must stand in faith, allowing Him to fulfill His will for us. All things; Hath Been Done, if we just have the faith to trust Him.

If we learn to rest in the peacefulness of the Spirit (letting our minds bathe and lounge in her peace) while our hands continue tackling the physical and mental challenges of our day; We could become much more productive in our physical lives and be more in tune with His will for our spiritual lives.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery.” Gal 5:1

We must work to gain ascension over our minds, so we can rest in the regenerative Joy and Peace of the Holy Spirit. Our human minds have become our greatest weakness as the internet broadens our interests and technology increases our leisure time. It has become the proverbial “chink in the armor”.

We are rolling our mental fears (information overload) into paralyzing physical fears that keeps us frozen in place while the freight train of life keeps chugging away. It continues to steamroll over us, driving us deeper into a pit of despair. Many of us find ourselves in a dark and desolate place of complacent depression. Just going through the motions of a life not worth living anymore.

This is the place where the entire battle takes place; within our minds. Battles are fought and won within the mind. As children of God who claim to know that Jesus is the Great Emancipator, the One who delivered us from our captors and redeemed us all with His Blood; it is so imperative that we surrender our minds to Him. Allowing Him to show us a new WAY to live through the personal relationship He wants with us.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” Romans 1:28

Many have heard or read that scripture, but do you really understand it?
Reprobate: an unprincipled person. The world tries to describe “reprobate” as a humorous or affectionate term. It is NOT.

If we do not retain God in our knowledge, then His Son cannot hear our prayers. If Jesus does not hear them, then He cannot plead them to the Father. God then turns us over to our own devices. We continue being deceived into thinking we’ve done everything right, but He has spit us out of His mouth. Never knowing us.

“So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust].” Revelations 3:16 AMP

When we do not retain God in our mind, we allow ourselves to be deceived by our pious, dogmatic and religious beliefs. We prop ourselves up by the fruits of our own hard labors. It becomes more about our desires, and less about His desires for us. Oh, we still continue to pray to Him, after all; “there are no atheists in a fox hole”, but those prayers continue to go unanswered.

We go through all the motions; front pew on Sunday Morning. Hail Mary’s till our hands bleed onto the rosary beads. Our “prayer closet” doors are worn slap out at the hinges and still we don’t receive what we’ve pleaded and begged for.

Eventually we start blaming Him for not answering. The more we blame Him for the lack of Joy in our lives, the harder our hearts become to Him. We then start walking a more secular path, relying on our physical abilities to overcome our spiritual shortcomings.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” Proverbs 16:3

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

God does not make mistakes and He does not ignore our prayers. He is fair and just with all of us. It is just all to often, that our prayers are not His desire for our life… at the moment.

If we want our prayers answered, then we must gain control over our human minds and make them more Christ-like… Then we must be willing to accept that His will and our desires may not be exactly the same. This thing I am talking about, must be done daily.

“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who lives, but Christ that lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 AMP

If you truly want to find your joy… then give yourself up to Christ as a living sacrifice. He will then possess you and make you FEARLESS!

Invite Him to dwell within you as a living Christ, every day! You may not always get what you pray for, but you will get everything you need… and sometimes, so much more than we ever felt possible as the Spirit continues to dwell within a holier version of ourselves. A true temple unto the Lord.

Remember GIGO? Garbage In, Garbage Out? If we could change just one little letter and live it, our lives might change in ways we’ve never dreamt possible.

CICO = Christ IN-wardly, Christ OUT-wardly.

Remember… I’m far from a perfect man. Often my personal perspectives are imperfect. Sometimes my actions are imperfect. That is why I actively pursue a relationship with a living Christ and pray I am hearing His words correctly.

He does help me recognize the mistakes of yesterday, like an amazing Monday morning quarterback, but then He allows me to throw those mistakes into the Sea of Forgetfulness. He does this so I can learn how to fix them (while not stressing over them) the right way, through His will via the Holy Spirit.

Go forward and sin no more. This is what He commanded. It does not mean that we are immediately made perfect, it means we have been redeemed through His grace. Then we just continue to praying for His guidance and a better understanding of our past mistakes, trying not to repeat them.

If we honestly look at our past lives, I am certain that most people can find the mistakes that have led us to this place in time. I can certainly remember many of mine. In fact, if I allow myself to remember all of them, ALL of the time, I would never be able to move forward in life. I’d wallow around in my own self-pity and miss out on all the goodness that God has in store for me.

Do not continue beating yourself up over past mistakes. Cast them into the Sea of Forgetfulness and move forward. Once they sink deeply into that sea, you can go on trying to do it a different way. His WAY! Hopefully with great understanding, faith and much prayer, we can find better outcomes tomorrow than we had today. Outcomes that are filled with much Joy.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19

Give it a try (if you’re not sure how, send me a message) and we can discuss it more in depth. We just need to possess the faith of a child or the faith of a mustard seed (more on that in the future) and know; it is only through Him that we even have a tomorrow.

I pray y’all have a blessed day… thanks for taking the time to read my perspective today. I hope and pray y’all are successful in finding your Joy.

Leave a comment and let me know how you feel about it. His will; Hath Been Done.

Patrick James

Black Coffee Perspectives

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