The Question that Robs Our Joy: Week 1 of Joy Series

I am so excited to spend the next six Mondays studying what I want more of and maybe you do too: joy.

I’m glad you’re here and hope that together we can intentionally get off the roller coaster of swinging emotions and get more control over our joy level.

It can hit me at any time.

This time, I was simply mopping my floor when the water in my bucket became a tsunami in my mind.

“What if…?”

No question robs joy or snuffs out hope like this one. What can begin as faith slips to fear as “what if” attempts to make itself at home; the temptation to play out the worse case scenario takes over.

Fear replaces faith. Joy is stolen.

But it doesn’t have to.

A couple of Marys help me see…

Joy can be experienced even in the middle of fear.

In Matthew 28, the hope of these two women had been crucified and laid in a tomb. Yet, there must have been a spark left, because they were compelled to go and look.

When they arrived, they didn’t see what they expected. An earthquake shook and an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled back the stone and sat on it. Speaking hope, he told them Jesus had in fact done what He said; He had risen.

“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (verse 8)

Afraid yet filled with joy.

Joy was the strength that overcame their fear. 

Joy was the strength that overcame the joy robbing question.

The women could either look at reality: what was going to happen next? The unknown was terrifying.


They could look to the excitement of what would be next now that Jesus was risen!

Afraid, yet filled with joy, they believed. In the Greek, filled with joy, is a combination of two words. Chara means to rejoice and megas means great or large.

One thing is going to become great and large, either fear or joy. Like the Marys, I have to turn from my “tomb”; my joy-stealing fear. I can’t look at two things at once. When I look to the One who is great and large, I find what Nehemiah knew:

“… the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

With this strength, I put the “what if” question to rest…at least for this battle.

Do you have a “what if” question looming in your face today? Though you might be afraid for the future, with the joy of the  Lord being your strength, you can be filled with joy. This is no easy thing. Fear fighting and joy finding is not for the weak of heart. It’s for the desperate woman who knows she can’t go on if she doesn’t find joy.

Friend, you and I can be Marys today!

How can I pray for you today as you look to the One who is great and large instead of to fear?






  1. melanie shannon says:

    I am preparing to take my son to college 6 1/2 hours away from our home on 8/26/12. He turns 18 on 8/25/12. Trying to calm the “what if”s”. I know God loves him even more than I do but it is still hard. 🙁

    1. Melanie,

      My “what if’s” almost always have to do with my kids. There is nothing like learning to stay joyful when the fear of the choices they may or are making are breathing down your neck. Each day, as I pray, I have to speak to my heart and remind myself, “Jesus and my child are writing their story and He’s not done writing it yet!”

  2. I made an appt today see my Dr, I feel as if I’m losing my joy, nothings is “going wroong” I’m just feeling anxious and sad. Please pray my strength and for returning joy

    1. Dear Father,

      You know exactly why KC is struggling. Please use your Word, your healing power and the wisdom of the doctor to return joy and strength once again! Amen

  3. I have been feeling chased by unanswered questions. I know the Lord knows my questions before I ask, but there are some huge things. The biggest is: ” My kids are all at school now I need money and I need a job”. I had time to read secular materials, but all I wanted to do was read the Bible and seek the Wisdom of God for myself and my children. While they were all gone on Saturday night I got on Youtube and started looking through the Prov. 31 speakers names and searching their videos. The second hour I found your 3 parts on the Revolution Book. I had new courage to deal with my teen girls at home (17 3/4 and 19 1/2). They still want me to give them rules to live by even when I thought I had taught them all they need. I gave my 19 year old your Freebie list of PDF and told her to go over all of them and lets talk more.
    I have new strength to continue the good fight. Fear looms at the door, but I have to keep my eyes looking toward the light.
    Please pray for me. I also have a 16 year old son, a junior in High School and a 21 year old daughter who lives alone and is starting her new career today.
    So, many changes from the home school mom I was for 16 years. No more home school. Two girls in college, one working and a son who wants to be a man too soon.

  4. Deena, I was so encouraged to hear my resources ate encouraging you and your family. I have children similar ages – 21, 18 and 15. I thought once I got them to 18 we were set. I’m now believing this parenting heart goes on and on! Praying for you and your family tonight.

  5. Lynn, this jus cudn’t hv got any more apt for me!Thx!Its a BIG mountain im facing.Plzz PRAY for me!!!

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