Joy is not an emotion; it is a fruit and fruit must be cultivated. Joy comes from God, but it only takes affect in our life when we are "trusting in Him." Focusing on the problem, worrying, stressing; this is not trusting in God, but rather in our circumstances. Circumstances only take; they cannot give and they will always trade you your joy for worry, stress, and anxiety.
In our moments of stress, we can choose what voice we will allow. Will we allow worry and fear to have it's dirty way in our mind, bleeding out into our soul and affecting everything and everyone around us? Or will we truly trust in God, drawing on the endless source of joy found within our spirit? After all, "the joy of the Lord is my strength" Nehemiah 8:10, and only when we are walking in this joy will we have the strength to persevere, walking out every beautiful plan God has for us with a smile.
When we revel in worry and anxiety, we are handing over our joy for that moment in life, a moment we will never see again. Joy is a gift from God that has been freely given to our new born-again spirits; however, since we are not always living out of our spirits, we are not always walking in joy. It would be helpful to point out that this is a choice, not a personality type.
The only person that can steal back your joy is you. It's yours. We need to get a little fierce and decide that we're not going to live our lives stressed out all the time. There's so much in store for you and God's going to need you fully awake and fully armed to walk out everything He has planned. The fruit is already there if we will only pursue it, which is something the enemy will never be able to take away from us. He fears what's on the inside of you and will do whatever it takes to keep you from wanting it, even to the point of giving it away. We need His strength. We need His joy. We need to steal back what was taken.
Speaking of joy... It's officially summer! For one week now :) And speaking of fruit, here's a fabulous healthy Pina Colada Protein Smoothie recipe, perfect right after a workout. Happy Summer!