pity parties steal our joy

Sometimes pity parties feel really right. And justified. We look at the scenario and decide that {yes, indeed} this absolutely sucketh. Then we proceed to mentally list the 84 reasons why it sucketh until we’re frowning and growling at the people around us.


Pity Party
flickr photo credit


But complaining — whether inwardly or outwardly — strips away the joy rightfully ours in Christ. Rightfully ours because of His sacrifice.

“Are you telling me that I’m supposed to be happy that my {fill in the blank} is a wreck?”

No. I’m definitely not. Some excruciating situations mark our world. Excruciating. But Jesus gives His joy. (John 15:11) His joy arises when we abide in Him. His joy stirs when we believe God to be who He has revealed Himself to be. You know how I know? Because He says so…and because He’s proven it in my life.


Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4


First, we ask Him to reveal when our heart leans toward complaining. We have deceptive hearts. That’s why we need Him to reveal.

Then, once we sense the wallowing (and we’re tempted to print up tickets to our pity party), we break away. I go to my laundry room. And we speak truths out-loud.

Because He does love us. (John 15:13) He does. And if we’re in Christ, then we’re called God’s daughter or son. (Romans 8:14-15) And as His child He has good plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) And yes, His plans may include a season of wilderness walking, but even so — even so! — He allows it with purpose. (Matthew 4:4)

As we remember true things we can then say, “Thank you, Lord.” Because we cannot see what He sees and we do not know what He knows. But we can say “thank You” because He faithfully unfolds His good plan.

Declarations of faith stir His Spirit within us. And joy characterizes His Spirit. Therefore faith stirs joy. Believe.

Fill me, Lord…

How have you seen faith stir joy even if your circumstance didn’t change?

  • Rebecca

    A good word. It is hard to stop the emotional negative cycle in the midst of struggle. But we have the living God inside us, right there in our situation. So our situation is in Yeshua and we can hang on to God’s promises. Thank you for the reminder. Seems I need it pretty often these days. 🙂

    • Oh girl, it can be so hard to fight that wave of very strong emotion. Trusting with you that our God is greater, empowering us to take those thoughts captive.

  • Chuck

    Great words Lara. You are right in that joy does not necessarily equal happiness. Happiness (or sadness) usually results from our situations, people’s actions or reactions, “things”, etc, and tends to be transient. Our joy can ALWAYS be with us as look forward to our eternal hope in the Lord, through the Holy Spirit … no matter the external factors!

    “Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory. And that’s not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on. The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope. And hope will never let us down. God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us. [Rom. 5:2-5]

  • So true. I remember when I miscarried a few years ago and had to really go to my “laundry room” and find the peace, the joy and the God given truth that things (all things) happen for good reason and decided instead of crying about it that I would get up and be glad about it. Be glad that I had a little longer to baby my middle child. A little longer to sleep late. And knowing that God would send us the right combination of cells that we call a new baby that would be perfect for our family at the perfect time.

  • Katherine marie

    Your words always touch me immensly…Thank you dearly for sharing your insights!!