Author Topic: What do you do when you've lost your joy?  (Read 1142 times)

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Offline melkite

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What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« on: June 23, 2018, 11:09:13 AM »
Sorry for the cryptic:

Let's say someone finds themselves in a hopeless situation.  No chance of recovery.  No chance of reversal.  You're just stuck. 

Subjectively, this person finds this to be an unbearable situation to be in, such that they would rather not exist at all than to suffer this.

It is a given that the loss is something of this earth alone, so there is no restitution, even if they make it to heaven.  The loss is forever.

Knowing that a desire of this person's heart is hopelessly gone, how do they revive any joy in life or being Christian?  Even if they take joy in other things, it is always incomplete, and tarnishes they joy they do have.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 11:22:30 AM »
I would suggest practising the 7 sacraments more doing things such as confessing your sins! take the Eucharist often and get married (if you are already married I did not mean any offence) and you shall find joy in the One True Orthodox Church
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Offline recent convert

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 12:57:28 PM »
Aside from dire situations of grief, physical, & or mental anguish, I just find joy in the sense that I have the ability to work, live, & give something to charity within a (hopefully) Christian framework.i do not feel qualified to try to reassure people in dire circumstances.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 03:07:27 PM »
Keep praying, and keep pressing forward.  Keep seeking God.  Try to find solace in small comforts, even if it's imperfect or incomplete, or coexists with grief.  Do not be drastic, even if the feelings are drastic.  If God wants someone home with Him that badly, He'll see to it Himself.  Seek out a wise guide who can offer advice and support.  Don't listen to people who don't understand.  And logistically, figure out what the new normal is, and own it.  God can make all things new, can make something of our situation when we think we're off course or when we really did screw up, but we have to let Him.  He will not force us to let Him heal us (and by this, I mean our spiritual wounds first and foremost).
Lord, have mercy on your servant and sustain them in their sorrow.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 03:29:08 PM »
I don't have a full-proof solution, but fwiw I can tell you that I've been in such a situation, and eventually life just got better. It was partly from my own efforts to improve a bunch of small things, which maybe didn't seem to be that important individually, but nonetheless had a noticeable cumulative effect; and partly had to do with a number of factors beyond my control which happened to improve. What I tried to tell myself when it got to the worst point, was that there was always a chance for things to get better, even if I couldn't see how or when, and even if the thousand and one things I'd tried before hadn't worked.

Offline Brilko

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 03:43:17 PM »
You just keep going. Don’t obsess over your difficulties. If you can’t stop obsessing, you may have depression and need medical help.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2018, 06:43:08 PM »
You just keep going. Don’t obsess over your difficulties. If you can’t stop obsessing, you may have depression and need medical help.
This, plain and simple.
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 06:59:01 PM »
I would suggest practising the 7 sacraments more doing things such as confessing your sins! take the Eucharist often and get married (if you are already married I did not mean any offence) and you shall find joy in the One True Orthodox Church
I am sure he never thought of such general-most-basic kind of a thing before... wait

Sorry for the cryptic:

Let's say someone finds themselves in a hopeless situation.  No chance of recovery.  No chance of reversal.  You're just stuck. 

Subjectively, this person finds this to be an unbearable situation to be in, such that they would rather not exist at all than to suffer this.

It is a given that the loss is something of this earth alone, so there is no restitution, even if they make it to heaven.  The loss is forever.

Knowing that a desire of this person's heart is hopelessly gone, how do they revive any joy in life or being Christian?  Even if they take joy in other things, it is always incomplete, and tarnishes they joy they do have.
I know how you feel, and i don't think i have any satisfying answer myself to this. One thing you could try is get prayer book with psalms of david, also study the case with the isrealites when God let them into the desert for 40 years. Read this canon from time to time.

Btw are you member of the Orthodox Church ?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 07:03:08 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline melkite

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 08:16:13 PM »
Btw are you member of the Orthodox Church ?

No, I am a Melkite Catholic.  I wanted to ask this from the Orthodox because I am sick of the Latin platitudes and gaudy piety.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 12:28:36 AM »
Btw are you member of the Orthodox Church ?

No, I am a Melkite Catholic.  I wanted to ask this from the Orthodox because I am sick of the Latin platitudes and gaudy piety.
Like what do you mean? Any examples? Not that there aren't Orthodox platitudes usually starting with "St/Elder x said" that exist too.

But if you really want advice, I'm going to limit it to saying find friends, their guardian angel, the Mother of God, the martyrs, etc. and talk to them about it, because Christians here or elsewhere should bear one anothers' burdens.
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 12:47:08 AM »
If you are on an exercise regimen, do it.

And if you're not, start one.

Exercise stimulates the brain to release positive endorphens which help to promote a positive outlook.

I am a PTSD survivor many x. 

IT WORKS!

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 01:00:11 AM »
If you are on an exercise regimen, do it.

And if you're not, start one.

Exercise stimulates the brain to release positive endorphens which help to promote a positive outlook.

I am a PTSD survivor many x. 

IT WORKS!

What kind of exercise(s) do you recommend?

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2018, 01:38:47 AM »
Mor,

I am not an exercise physiologist, only someone who has benefited greatly by their wisdom.

Nevertheless:  Something that increases the heart rate.  For me, that has been warm ups  3 -  5 minutes of stair climbs; followed by various stretches of no less than 10 seconds each, followed by dumbbell strength training; concluding with a final round of stretches.

I have been doing this for 2x week for the past 19 years; and, yes, there have been many times when I have needed to "force" myself to get started, but invariably within 5-10 minutes I am feeling MUCH better mentally and spiritually than before.

Invest in a few sessions with a certified Trainer...it will reap a lifetime of benefit.


Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2018, 01:57:46 AM »
Karate helped me a lot to cope with anxiety, impulsiveness/compulsiveness and social isolation when I was younger, I owe a lot to it. Martial arts are generally said to be very therapeutic, and I subscribe and recommend to everyone, I want to get back as soon as I get my schedule fixed. There's the whole physical stuff, plus it turns destructive passions into something positive.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 01:59:16 AM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2018, 03:19:04 AM »
Mor,

I am not an exercise physiologist, only someone who has benefited greatly by their wisdom.

Nevertheless:  Something that increases the heart rate.  For me, that has been warm ups  3 -  5 minutes of stair climbs; followed by various stretches of no less than 10 seconds each, followed by dumbbell strength training; concluding with a final round of stretches.

I have been doing this for 2x week for the past 19 years; and, yes, there have been many times when I have needed to "force" myself to get started, but invariably within 5-10 minutes I am feeling MUCH better mentally and spiritually than before.

Invest in a few sessions with a certified Trainer...it will reap a lifetime of benefit.
If that is what helps then i do not think his problem is nearly as big as i imagined.

The problem usually comes from real life failures, then the devil comes as your advocate and starts to reason in your mind. Once you take the lie for truth, despondency follows. This is my experience.

The trick is, how do you catch the lie and utterly reject it before it deals the damage ?

Quote
@melkite: No chance of recovery.  No chance of reversal.  You're just stuck.
Btw, once you realize you have believed a lie and deeply repent of it, you will get out of the pit
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 03:25:31 AM by Vanhyo »

Offline melkite

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2018, 08:45:57 AM »
Like what do you mean? Any examples? Not that there aren't Orthodox platitudes usually starting with "St/Elder x said" that exist too.

Some of them aren't inherently Latin I guess, others seem (at least to me) to come from Latin spirituality.  Things like if it's bothering me this much, I'm not focusing on God enough, or suffering is good for the soul and I should attach mine to the cross of Christ for the benefit of mankind, etc., etc.  That's all well and good, but it doesn't make me feel any less hopeless about the situation.

Quote
@melkite: No chance of recovery.  No chance of reversal.  You're just stuck.
Btw, once you realize you have believed a lie and deeply repent of it, you will get out of the pit

God doesn't heal or reverse amputations on a regular basis, unfortunately.  And he never rewrites history so that they never actually happen.  So, on the one hand, I recognize that what causes me sorrow is the unfolding of life as it did, and I know I don't have any greater right to an 'ideal existence' than anyone else does.  But it doesn't make me any less sorrowful to know that certain circumstances of my life can never be undone or reversed.  How can God console a pain that is caused by reality not being the way we wished it would be?

Offline Alpha60

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2018, 09:31:30 AM »
Mor,

I am not an exercise physiologist, only someone who has benefited greatly by their wisdom.

Nevertheless:  Something that increases the heart rate.  For me, that has been warm ups  3 -  5 minutes of stair climbs; followed by various stretches of no less than 10 seconds each, followed by dumbbell strength training; concluding with a final round of stretches.

I have been doing this for 2x week for the past 19 years; and, yes, there have been many times when I have needed to "force" myself to get started, but invariably within 5-10 minutes I am feeling MUCH better mentally and spiritually than before.

Invest in a few sessions with a certified Trainer...it will reap a lifetime of benefit.

I have an anomalously fast heart rate, as data from my Apple Watch and doctors visits indicates, despite normal blood pressure and a lack of obesity.  I had to change the heart rate alert threshold on my watch because it was going off too frequently, for example, when I viewed an exciting film in the cinema shortly after purchasing it, I was getting alerts constantly.   Due to an unpleasant thing called Marfan’s Disease I am at increased risk for aortic dissection, and strenuous exercise is discouraged.

This has prevented me from attempting your approach, and I have been suffering from a relative joylessness, except, I would note, in church, when attending the liturgy; it tends to make me happy although the physical discomfort of sitting up and standing for an extended period is intense.  I have become properly physically knackered; after contracting the so called Aussie flu last February, I still have almost no energy.  This also makes church attendance a challenge.  This lack of energy pressurizes the morose atmosphere.

For this reason, I am inclined to suspect there may be some truth to your claims.   Historically, I enjoyed walking, and I have seen monastics walking while saying the Jesus Prayer, not apparently with any work related destination in mine.  Perhaps I should do that; I recall doing this in 2014 when my mother was briefly hospitalized due to ulcers and fraility (from both of these she has recovered, thanks be to God).  I would periodically leave her bedside and walk out of the room and down the ward, and sometimes go down to the ground level, and I would say the Jesus Prayer using my prayer rope, once it became evident she was stable and improving.   This in turn improved my overall constitution.

I am going to talk to my priest about this this morning, and then with my doctor at my scheduled appointment this week if my priest seems in favor of the idea (of walking as a safe, light exercise to improve my emotional countenance as it were).
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 09:33:17 AM by Alpha60 »
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Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2018, 10:41:31 AM »
The bible says your joy no one can take from you. If you have been trusting in yourself as righteous you can lose your joy but if you trust God payed your debt and that justice for your sin has been dealt with on the cross you won’t despair for He calls the worst sinners to repent and carry their cross.
Tax collectors and unforgivable people of society have found forgiveness with God. A Christian won’t let any created thing separate him from the love of God because he trusts in Gods righteousness and/or the forgiveness of God.
If they harmed someone and they ask forgiveness they believe God will accept them because they trust in God’s judgements that He is fair on earth and if He wasn’t He would give them a chance in other world. He warns every man as Paul said people conscience accuse or excuse people when God will judge them. The bible says in Romans 1:19 God has shown truth to people. But all the truth ? I suppose since Romans 1:20 says even His eternal power is known. But do they know if some thing will not escape His judgement ? I don’t know but Romans 1:19 says what may be known of God is known it seems possible therefore they know or can know but prefer not to know and therefore they are without excuse if they let another deceive them. But does God actually let anyone deceive them if they really ever had desire for the truth ? I think not therefore I believe  God is fair in this life but if He was not He would give them their chance in another world. Besides a Christian is not supposed to insist on who should be saved but must simply be a faithful witness of Christ’s truths. We trust His judgements are fair and it is up to Him if it does not apply on a case(s). He has not told us it does not apply but He judges all people fairly.
But if God does not let any be deceived why should we preach ? Because He does not let it supposing we do our duty and covers for us if we fall. He chose to give men the honor of serving Him as it says in the book of Daniel those who are wise and turn many to righteousness shall shine like the stars forever and ever. Those who sin lose a reward but God will hopefully not let their sins destroy others. It is still a possibility that it will so we should fear and warn others not to go down that path for we may have to bear guilt forever and our guilt may make it more difficult to repent.
Also we believe God believes our preaching is fair but God decides because we warn others it may really be fair.

I’ve been reading the book pilgrims progress by John Bunyan and it is encouraging. The weight of the sin can not be taken away by morality but through the cross and one must carry the burden of his sin all the journey

Choosing not to repent just because you did not commit suicide will not work . I don’t want people to do so because they will go to hell but everyone must still repent. However it is better than suicide especially if you are unrighteous
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 10:44:04 AM by mikeforjesus »

Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2018, 10:42:12 AM »
We have to just trust and accept God’s forgiveness even if we think we don’t deserve it. He will save others we harmed supposing we did if He wants to. Also we may have harmed them but they are responsible for themselves.
When we go to heaven we will not regret believing the love God has for us when it will all make sense why He loves us. And will be glad we did not despair and send ourselves to hell

Offline Tzimis

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2018, 03:07:29 PM »
God doesn't heal or reverse amputations on a regular basis, unfortunately.  And he never rewrites history so that they never actually happen.  So, on the one hand, I recognize that what causes me sorrow is the unfolding of life as it did, and I know I don't have any greater right to an 'ideal existence' than anyone else does.  But it doesn't make me any less sorrowful to know that certain circumstances of my life can never be undone or reversed.  How can God console a pain that is caused by reality not being the way we wished it would be?
This is a temporary life. Have hope that god will restore in his second coming.  Consequences are something many deal with in different forms. Death itself is the worst of all and all will experience it. Pray for strength to endure and rejoice in the fact that Christ has defeated death.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2018, 03:09:29 PM »
God doesn't heal or reverse amputations on a regular basis, unfortunately.  And he never rewrites history so that they never actually happen.  So, on the one hand, I recognize that what causes me sorrow is the unfolding of life as it did, and I know I don't have any greater right to an 'ideal existence' than anyone else does.  But it doesn't make me any less sorrowful to know that certain circumstances of my life can never be undone or reversed.  How can God console a pain that is caused by reality not being the way we wished it would be?
This is a temporary life. Have hope that god will restore in his second coming.  Consequences are something many deal with in different forms. Death itself is the worst of all and all will experience it. Pray for strength to endure and rejoice in the fact that Christ has defeated death.

indeed rejoice christ has conquered death by his death and has crushed the grip of Satan!
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."—Philotheus of Pskov

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2018, 03:11:22 PM »
Quote
@melkite: No chance of recovery.  No chance of reversal.  You're just stuck.
Btw, once you realize you have believed a lie and deeply repent of it, you will get out of the pit

God doesn't heal or reverse amputations on a regular basis, unfortunately.  And he never rewrites history so that they never actually happen.  So, on the one hand, I recognize that what causes me sorrow is the unfolding of life as it did, and I know I don't have any greater right to an 'ideal existence' than anyone else does.  But it doesn't make me any less sorrowful to know that certain circumstances of my life can never be undone or reversed.  How can God console a pain that is caused by reality not being the way we wished it would be?
Sorry i thought you were speaking of something else, there was a lack of communication/misunderstanding.

And no, i cannot imagine how you feel, but i hope God gives you consolation.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 03:13:44 PM by Vanhyo »

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2018, 05:28:33 PM »
Some of them aren't inherently Latin I guess, others seem (at least to me) to come from Latin spirituality.  Things like if it's bothering me this much, I'm not focusing on God enough, or suffering is good for the soul and I should attach mine to the cross of Christ for the benefit of mankind, etc., etc.  That's all well and good, but it doesn't make me feel any less hopeless about the situation.

...

God doesn't heal or reverse amputations on a regular basis, unfortunately.  And he never rewrites history so that they never actually happen.  So, on the one hand, I recognize that what causes me sorrow is the unfolding of life as it did, and I know I don't have any greater right to an 'ideal existence' than anyone else does.  But it doesn't make me any less sorrowful to know that certain circumstances of my life can never be undone or reversed.  How can God console a pain that is caused by reality not being the way we wished it would be?
Many people may not have a frame of reference for what you're experiencing and so not really know what to say or do.  I thought that might be what you were referring to, so I'll stand by my earlier post.  I'll just point out that we have to let God console us and heal us.  Sometimes just getting to that point is a huge struggle in itself.  In my Protestant days, someone pointed out that when Moses broke the first set of tablets in frustration, they weren't thrown away.  They were put into the Ark of the Covenant as something still sacred--God Himself had written on them.  So it is with us when we are broken into pieces, either physically or spiritually, or both.  We are not to be thrown out, but carried as something still sacred.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2018, 05:51:39 PM »

This is a temporary life. Have hope that god will restore in his second coming.  Consequences are something many deal with in different forms. Death itself is the worst of all and all will experience it. Pray for strength to endure and rejoice in the fact that Christ has defeated death.

Yes, in the ressurection his body will be made whole again.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 05:52:09 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2018, 04:39:44 AM »
I know this sounds crazy but I believe God reminds me of songs to help me on my journey. I thought of the song Amazing Grace.
In the song it says through many dangers toils and snares I have already come it is grace that brought me thus so far and it is grace that will lead me home. The song is not suggesting the way to life is easy but you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you only if you find grace but it will still remain difficult continually asking for strength and strive . If you are not going through many difficulties you may not be really on the way. Because God will punish us for our sins God does not want any to be lost because of us and still the way to life is difficult even if we have not harmed others because we need to prove worthy of Jesus and repent of other sins. Jesus said and if any take not his cross he is not worthy of Me.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:41:47 AM by mikeforjesus »

Offline Rubricnigel

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2018, 09:46:34 AM »
Despair can seem unending, but it always ends.
Sometimes we need to work harder, sometimes we need to seek help from others.

God bless, lord have mercy.

Offline Agabus

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2018, 10:05:58 AM »
Embrace it for what it is rather than fighting it. Half of the Psalms are complaints.

Consider this from Psalm 42:

I will say to God, Thou art my helper; why hast thou forgotten me? wherefore do I go sad of countenance, while the enemy oppresses me?
While my bones were breaking, they that afflicted me reproached me; while they said to me daily, Where is thy God?
Wherefore art thou very sad, O my soul? and wherefore dost thou trouble me? hope in God; for I will give thanks to him; he is the health of my countenance, and my God.


Be angry and do not sin. Be sad. Talk to God. Yell if you need. God is big enough to take it, I promise. 

If you feel like you can't talk to God, pick a saint. But trying to leave despair without fully acknowledging it for what it is means it will remain unresolved. Christ has completely identified with you as a human, and has — in a real way — felt your pain. And through that identification, he may not reverse a loss, but he may offer you a way to redeem it that you cannot yet see.

I recently heard someone say, "God does not give us answers; He gives us himself." So do not deny your melancholy, but do not live in it forever. Turn your eyes to God, who has come to us and offers himself to us in answer for our health and salvation, not only in his filling-all presence but in his true presence in the Eucharist and in the body of believers that constitute the Church.

I know these days are difficult. Sometimes repentance is found in tears, and sometimes peace. Sometimes life feels unbearable. But God offers Himself to us. Accept his offer.

Know that I've prayed for you as I write this.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 11:23:51 AM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2018, 11:19:26 AM »
Embrace it for what it is rather than fighting it. Half of the Psalms are complaints.

Consider this from Psalm 42:

I will say to God, Thou art my helper; why hast thou forgotten me? wherefore do I go sad of countenance, while the enemy oppresses me?
While my bones were breaking, they that afflicted me reproached me; while they said to me daily, Where is thy God?
Wherefore art thou very sad, O my soul? and wherefore dost thou trouble me? hope in God; for I will give thanks to him; he is the health of my countenance, and my God.


Be angry and do not sin. Be sad. Talk to God. Yell if you need. God is big enough to take it, I promise. 

If you feel like you can't talk to God, pick a saint. But trying to leave despair without fully acknowledging it for what it is means it will remain unresolved. Christ has fully identified with you as a human, and has — in a real way — felt your pain. And through that identification, he may not reverse a loss, but he may offer you a way to redeem it that you cannot yet see.

I recently heard someone say, "God does not give us answers; He gives us himself." So not deny your melancholy, but do not live in it forever. Turn your eyes to God, who has come to us and offers himself to us in answer for our health and salvation, not only in his filling-all presence but in his true presence in the Eucharist and in the body of believers that constitute the Church.

I know these days are difficult. Sometimes repentance is found in tears, and sometimes peace. Sometimes life feels unbearable. But God offers Himself to us. Accept his offer.

Know that I've prayed for you as I write this.

Amen may God bless you brother!
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."—Philotheus of Pskov

Offline melkite

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2018, 10:02:07 AM »
Embrace it for what it is rather than fighting it. Half of the Psalms are complaints.

Consider this from Psalm 42:

I will say to God, Thou art my helper; why hast thou forgotten me? wherefore do I go sad of countenance, while the enemy oppresses me?
While my bones were breaking, they that afflicted me reproached me; while they said to me daily, Where is thy God?
Wherefore art thou very sad, O my soul? and wherefore dost thou trouble me? hope in God; for I will give thanks to him; he is the health of my countenance, and my God.


Be angry and do not sin. Be sad. Talk to God. Yell if you need. God is big enough to take it, I promise. 

If you feel like you can't talk to God, pick a saint. But trying to leave despair without fully acknowledging it for what it is means it will remain unresolved. Christ has completely identified with you as a human, and has — in a real way — felt your pain. And through that identification, he may not reverse a loss, but he may offer you a way to redeem it that you cannot yet see.

I recently heard someone say, "God does not give us answers; He gives us himself." So do not deny your melancholy, but do not live in it forever. Turn your eyes to God, who has come to us and offers himself to us in answer for our health and salvation, not only in his filling-all presence but in his true presence in the Eucharist and in the body of believers that constitute the Church.

I know these days are difficult. Sometimes repentance is found in tears, and sometimes peace. Sometimes life feels unbearable. But God offers Himself to us. Accept his offer.

Know that I've prayed for you as I write this.

This post has meant the most to me (not that it was a contest).  Are there any psalms in particular you recommend for despair and melancholy?  I guess I should probably be reading through and praying all of them, but maybe a few I should go to regularly that pertain to this issue?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 10:02:56 AM by melkite »

Offline Agabus

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2018, 10:41:14 AM »
Embrace it for what it is rather than fighting it. Half of the Psalms are complaints.

Consider this from Psalm 42:

I will say to God, Thou art my helper; why hast thou forgotten me? wherefore do I go sad of countenance, while the enemy oppresses me?
While my bones were breaking, they that afflicted me reproached me; while they said to me daily, Where is thy God?
Wherefore art thou very sad, O my soul? and wherefore dost thou trouble me? hope in God; for I will give thanks to him; he is the health of my countenance, and my God.


Be angry and do not sin. Be sad. Talk to God. Yell if you need. God is big enough to take it, I promise. 

If you feel like you can't talk to God, pick a saint. But trying to leave despair without fully acknowledging it for what it is means it will remain unresolved. Christ has completely identified with you as a human, and has — in a real way — felt your pain. And through that identification, he may not reverse a loss, but he may offer you a way to redeem it that you cannot yet see.

I recently heard someone say, "God does not give us answers; He gives us himself." So do not deny your melancholy, but do not live in it forever. Turn your eyes to God, who has come to us and offers himself to us in answer for our health and salvation, not only in his filling-all presence but in his true presence in the Eucharist and in the body of believers that constitute the Church.

I know these days are difficult. Sometimes repentance is found in tears, and sometimes peace. Sometimes life feels unbearable. But God offers Himself to us. Accept his offer.

Know that I've prayed for you as I write this.

This post has meant the most to me (not that it was a contest).  Are there any psalms in particular you recommend for despair and melancholy?  I guess I should probably be reading through and praying all of them, but maybe a few I should go to regularly that pertain to this issue?

Well, the aforementioned Psalm 42 is a good start. 131 (130 in Masoretic numbering; "Out of the depths I have cried") places more emphasis on waiting on the Lord; Psalm 33 (32 in Masoretic numbering; "Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven") speaks specifically to suffering in silence but then finding hope in God.

There are probably some better suited to your situation, but those are the ones I can pull off the top of my head.

Maybe someone else can jump in with their own recommendations.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2018, 01:00:51 AM »
If you're going to make a list, add Psalms 1, 2, 6, 23 (22, "the Lord is my shepherd"), 88 (87, "O Lord God of my salvation"), 91 (90, "he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high") 144 and 150. I hope they communicate to you in the way they communicate to me.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Sharbel

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2018, 04:29:55 PM »
This post has meant the most to me (not that it was a contest).  Are there any psalms in particular you recommend for despair and melancholy?  I guess I should probably be reading through and praying all of them, but maybe a few I should go to regularly that pertain to this issue?

Well, the aforementioned Psalm 42 is a good start. 131 (130 in Masoretic numbering; "Out of the depths I have cried") places more emphasis on waiting on the Lord; Psalm 33 (32 in Masoretic numbering; "Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven") speaks specifically to suffering in silence but then finding hope in God.

There are probably some better suited to your situation, but those are the ones I can pull off the top of my head.

Maybe someone else can jump in with their own recommendations.

Better than java in the morning: Psalms 148, 149 and 150.
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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2018, 04:33:45 PM »
psalm 51 the psalm of repentance (Psalm 50 for Masoretic text)
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."—Philotheus of Pskov

Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2018, 05:56:30 PM »
You have your numbers backwards.
 
If you want a Psalm for this occasion, I really recommend Psalm 21 (Psalm 20 for Masoretic text).

Although generally, you just have to keep pushing forward.
I'm done.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2018, 06:30:17 PM »
psalm 50 the psalm of repentance (Psalm 51 for Masoretic text) (with correct numbering)
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."—Philotheus of Pskov

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2018, 09:52:15 PM »
Im praying for you buddy.  I know your in a tough predicament.  Im also praying for those who are caring for you. Please don't give up hope. Life is worth living.  Even in your condition.  Lord have mercy!

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2018, 02:37:39 AM »
Im praying for you buddy.  I know your in a tough predicament.  Im also praying for those who are caring for you. Please don't give up hope. Life is worth living.  Even in your condition.  Lord have mercy!
I hope you're not revealing something personal here...
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Ainnir

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2018, 08:49:01 AM »
I hope you're not revealing something personal here...
I think there are many more than would like to admit that at some point, if even only once, such a comment could have been personally applied.  Would it not be the ultimate demonic delusion?  Why then would such a temptation be surprising?
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2018, 09:34:00 PM »
You people ~ some ~ have spoken well ~ I can't right now ```

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2018, 09:30:38 PM »
In response to the OP---I feel your pain, I have been there many a time, until I woke up.

The biggest thing for me was getting rid of false ego. If I never owned anything in the first place how can I lose anything?

The sense of "mine" has got to go.

You came into this world with nothing, you'll die with nothing. All your so-called possessions will vanish. All you have is your soul and the state therein. So focus on that.

And here's the kicker: you don't truly live until you die. Everlasting joy only comes when you completely die to yourself. So get rid of that false ego and put on Christ. And then live in peace.

I'm not asking you to always be happy, sometimes it is good to sit with the sadness for awhile. But you should always remain at peace. Christ always brings an overarching sense of calm to His servants.

No matter what circumstance you find yourself in you can always be at peace, but Christ literally has to be reigning supreme in all your members for this to be possible.

Otherwise, we'll be tossed to and fro by the tempest with absolutely no direction. That's a frightening place to be.
Let us open our mouths and sing hymns of salvation. Come and fall down in the house of the Lord and say: Pardon our sins, you who hung upon the cross and rose from the dead, and yet are forever in the bosom of the Father.

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Re: What do you do when you've lost your joy?
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2018, 10:17:55 PM »
I hope you're not revealing something personal here...
I think there are many more than would like to admit that at some point, if even only once, such a comment could have been personally applied.  Would it not be the ultimate demonic delusion?  Why then would such a temptation be surprising?
This is very true.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth