This is the midway point in the five part series, "Barriers to Joy" by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne, LMFT. This series examines the things that interfere with the active, intentional experience of joy in our lives. Thanks again to Dr. Kuhne for allowing me to publish this series on my blog. Here is Part Three:
To date, I have introduced two key barriers to the experience of joy in our lives spiritually, physically, and psychologically. One was the lack of recreation in one's life. I spoke of how recreation is actually re-creation and we are refreshed, encouraged, and built up in times of recreation in all three areas of the self (body, mind, and spirit). The other barrier is anger, that inward emotion that slowly eats away at the heart and the mind after a hurt has been experienced and which robs us of the experience of joy in our lives.
A third barrier to the experience of joy in our lives is when we feel as if our identity in Christ has been lost or is no longer secure, when we forget whose we are. If you read in Job, you will read about Job's wife who encourages him to “curse God and die.” That is indeed the message of the world. When we do not get our way and cannot figure a way out, ditch it all and give up and die. If Job's wife had been in relationship with God like Job was, she would have known that was not true. Job does get angry with God but he does not die, he lives. God is not about death but about life, not about killing us but about raising us to new life in Him.
There are times in our marriages and personal relationships where we may feel distant or no longer appreciated and cared for. We may lose our sense of security and faith in those we love. It is tests, like these, of the relationship to stand up for your needs and communicate those to your spouse or friend. Without communication and leaps of faith to trust the relationship (and its security), we move into fear, distance, depression, loneliness, depravity and get lost. God wants us to be found. That is why He so quickly is ready to leave the 99 sheep and go in search for the one lost to bring him/her back to the flock.
God's love for you can build up a security that you can have, not in your own feelings or emotions, but in the facts of the works of Jesus Christ for your personal salvation. You can once again experience Joy in your life with that assurance and security that nothing in this world, the past, the present, or the future world can change that security. Spouses can know that same security within the covenant of their marriage, friends can also share a similar security as they stay connected and invested into one another.
Friends, you can know that know that you know and rest in the peace of that knowledge and faith with God and with one another. And you can know the experience of joy spiritually, physically, and psychologically in your life today.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Trey Kuhne is a pastoral counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist with Pathways Pastoral Counseling located at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 400 Dupre Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307. He specializes in working with individuals, couples and families. Call (864) 542-3019 for an appointment. He may be reach via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.