It appeared that Melissa had a wonderful marriage and six of the sweetest children. She homeschooled them and was content with her life.
One day she accidentally discovered that her husband was defiling some of her older girls and her whole world was shattered. There was no repentance from her husband and she had every reason to be deeply bitter and depressed. She was devastated yet able to live joyfully and in the strength of the Lord.
I met Melissa a number of years ago and found her to be one of the most joyful people despite her circumstances.
You see, JOY is not dependent upon our feelings but on our relationship with Jesus and keeping our eyes on Him.
The verse that Melissa shared with me is one I found recently while reading through Nehemiah.
“For this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.~Nehemiah 8:10~
When quoting this verse we usually leave off the first part that says, “neither be ye sorry.”
Melissa had good reason to be ‘sorry’ or melancholy.
Have you ever had a heavy feeling when you woke up in the morning? Maybe you have considerable stress in your life? You might have good reason for the heaviness you carry.
Melissa wasn’t able to shake the sadness on her own. She relied entirely upon her relationship with God to give her Joy which in turn gave her strength.
But what if you cannot put a finger on that deep long-lasting heaviness you wake with each morning? It happens. Whether it is something in your past or present that you are not aware of, or changing monthly hormones, God knows and loves you with an everlasting love and has an answer for you.
I know what it is like to carry that heaviness each morning. For me, there were some real reasons but often that feeling remained when there was nothing that day to be causing the mully-grubs.
Whether you have a trauma in your life like Melissa, or some situation that is weighing with heaviness on your heart, or nothing at all other than the changes a woman goes through each month or at the ending of her cycling years, I found that it leaves opportunity wide open for Satan.
Here is a quote from Jonathan Edwards who was a godly New England minister and theologian.
“So that it must be only by the imagination that Satan has access to the soul, to tempt and delude it, or suggest anything to it. And this seems to be the reason why persons that are under the disease of melancholy are commonly so visibly and remarkably subject to the suggestions and temptations of Satan… Innumerable are the ways by which the mind may be led on to all kind of evil thoughts, by the exciting of external ideas in the imagination.” Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections
When a person is melancholy, she leaves herself wide open for Satan to work.
I want to do my best to overcome any feelings of melancholy and turn it over to the great Healer. What follows are six ‘Tools’ I have found that turn melancholy spirit into joy.
Six Tools to turn Melancholy to Joy
- Exercise/move 15 minutes daily when you first get out of bed.
- Quiet Time each morning (whether you feel like it or not) with prayer and praise (be thankful)
- Drink plenty of water (like 1/2 your body weight)
- Make a list for your Morning Routine and do it each day (cleaning your home is a good thing)
- Start a personal blog and write as a ministry to others
- Find a hobby and be passionate about it. Something you are very interested in (you will soon be too busy to be blue)
In Christ Alone,
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