Don’t believe for one minute that the joy Almighty God gives you can be stolen by mere humans! You see, we are often so quick to blame others for stealing our joy. Do you ever hear yourself say:
“He made me so angry!”
“She makes me act ugly!”
Yep—me too! But when I think this way, it’s evident that I’ve forgotten that I am endowed with the power of God. You see…
…when God gives us joy, no human can steal it—UNLESS we let them.
When we have become a child of God through receiving the GIFT OF SALVATION, we are given a superpower which allow us to control our reactions to the pain of evil. While we can’t control the behavior of others; we are NOT SUBJECT to their control because—Christ has made us free! We are never FORCED to exchange joy for—anxiety, hate, bitterness, or ugliness.
If we’ve made that bad trade, it’s because we’ve chosen to.
The Apostle Paul was unjustly imprisoned, and instead of becoming bitter, he allowed himself to be an instrument of God. God inspired him to write the book of Philippians which is the “joy book” of the Bible. He wrote:
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In ANY and EVERY circumstance, I have learned the SECRET of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me.”(Philippians 4:12-13)
How could Paul write about this kind of constant joy—from prison? Because he was ALREADY free! His joy was supernatural and could NOT be extinguished by his dismal, unfair, and wretched—physical circumstances. God was in control of Paul’s joy. Paul knew God well enough to not let the temporary stinking, filthy hole he was in rob him of the JOY of the permanent freedom He had in Christ. God inspired him to give us tools to overcome our own joy-thieving habits. He wrote,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”(Philippians 4:4, 8-9)
If you find yourself falling out of joy, begin thanking God for everything He has given you. Start with the basics…you can SEE to read this devotional, you can HEAR, THINK, and WALK. Okay that’s basic, now, go deeper. Press into the irreplaceable blessings of His presence like…His love, mercy, peace, strength, and wisdom. Thank Him for your physical blessings, like life, relationships and material gifts. I promise, you will run out of time to thank Him for everything you have and…you will find that you have unknowingly banished whatever dark enemy was threatening to steal your joy!
Thanking God, enables us to find great joy!
In God’s presence, you never have to trade joy for joylessness. [Is that a word?] No one has the power to take away the joy that GOD has given you. When your greatest joy is in—unfailing and Almighty God—your joy can NEVER be stolen by anyone!
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