“Fighting sounds so pressured and violent. Joy sounds more relaxed and peaceful. It just seems strange to talk about fighting for joy. You may as well talk about fighting to like hot fudge sundaes. Either you do or you don’t, right? What’s the fight? No, it’s not that simple. Physical tastes like hot fudge vs. caramel are morally neutral. It’s not right or wrong to like the one over the other. But having a spiritual taste for the glory of Christ is not morally neutral. Not to have it is evil and deadly. Not to see and savor Christ is an insult to the beauty and worth of his character. Preferring anything else above Christ is the very essence of sin. It must be fought.
God defines evil this way when he says, ‘My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water’ (Jer. 2:13). God pictures himself as a mountain spring of clean, cool, life-giving water. The way to glorify a fountain like this is to enjoy the water, and praise the water, and keep coming back to the water, and point other people to the water, and get strength for love from the water, and never, never, never prefer any drink in the world over this water. That makes the spring look valuable. That is how we glorify God, the fountain of living water.
But in Jeremiah’s day people tasted the fountain of God’s grace and did not like it. So they gave their energies to finding better water, more satisfying water. Not only did God call this effort futile (‘broken cisterns that can hold no water’), but he called it evil: ‘My people have committed two evils.’ They put God’s perfections to the tongue of their souls and disliked what they tasted; then they turned and craved suicidal cisterns of the world. That double insult to God is the essence of what evil is.
So preferring the pleasures of money or power or fame or sex over the ‘pleasures … at God’s right hand’ (Ps. 16:11) is not like preferring caramel to hot fudge. It is a great evil. Indeed it is the ultimate meaning of evil. Esteeming God less than anything is the essence of evil.”
Experiencing joy in Jesus Christ is not a passive activity. It requires picking up a cross daily. You must put to death the deceptive and evil desires of the heart, and through God's grace delight in Him rather than fleeting pleasures. It is called fighting the good fight of faith and He is the treasure that is worth the fight. This is bigger than what you will have for dinner or what truck you want to buy. The glory and fame of Christ, AND your life are at stake.
Fight for joy!
(Quote taken from When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy.)