Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

Is joy trending upwards in your life or spiraling down to frustration or discouragement?

I’m avoiding the word “depression” as the opposite of joy in this Interruption for several reasons. Many have difficulty with depression. Those who suffer that blanket of darkness descending on their soul – we need prayer and encouragement.

Sometimes there are no easy answers.

I am using the word “flummoxed” as the opposite of joy. I love this word, as it isn’t used much in the vernacular of our day, so I can define it as I want.

Flummoxed.

The Greek word used for joy in the New Testament means “rooted or leaning towards God’s grace.” Wow! Joy comes from grace, experiencing God’s favor.

Two definitions:

Flummoxed:  Frustration trending from joy and God’s presence

Joy:  Leaning toward God’s favor during difficulties

This past week were you trending joy or increasingly flummoxed?  

Yesterday, I was trying to purchase plane tickets.

The website wouldn’t work. I entered my info several times only to be told to contact my “platinum service representative.” I called and the recording said, “Press one and we will place you in the queue from Hades; you will not lose your place in line; your wait will be no shorter than 3 hours and guaranteed to be answered before the rapture.”

HHHHMMMHHM. Flummoxed! Trending toward frustration.

Jesus taught us to stay in the “now.” He said, “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself.” 

I lose the “now” when I allow bitterness/unforgiveness from the past to influence my “now.” I also lose peace when I think fearfully regarding the future. Don’t allow your “now” joy to be poisoned from the past or to be reduced by fear of the future.

Experiencing the “queue from Hades,” I lost my peace for a couple of hours.

From the past: “God, how come every time that I want to serve you, it is so difficult?” I wasn’t leaning toward God; I was getting mad at God.

From the future: “There are no seats available except by the restroom; the ones that I want the website won’t let me purchase. In the age COVID, I’m not sitting in the middle of two strangers next to the restroom.”  

Trending away from joy toward a good flummoxing.

God spiritually (it’s not natural) gives you joy in your relationship with Him. When you lead toward this grace, the joy of God’s presence can overcome both offenses from the past and fear from what might happen in the future.

Joy.

Nehemiah writes, “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future.

Knowing joy; sensing when it is gone. Discerning how the past or the future is taking it away, then confessing weakness, allows a return to “now” – where joy always resides.

Don’t be flummoxed this week.