Pastor Anthony L. Scott
“These things I have spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you
and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11
The Word of God assures us that even when things go wrong, we can still have joy. Satan attempts to rob us of our joy with his joy stealers. God, on the other hand encourages us through His promises not to worry because the joy of the Lord is our strength. The true secret to Christian joy is found in the believer’s perspective. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Keeping God first is an assurance that joy will be a fixed part of your life. Your outlook truly does determine your outcome.
There are essentially four thieves that attempt to rob us of joy. The first stealer is circumstances. Few if any of our life circumstances are really under our control. The weather, traffic, things people say and do, along with numerous other unpredictable events are beyond our realm of influence. This is why the believer must have an inner peace and contentment. These are within your control.
The second joy stealer is people. People have the capacity to either build you up or tear you down. The Lord said we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Unfortunately, dim and bitter people will cross our path and attempt to sap our joy. When this foe confronts you, keep your mind on heavenly things.
The third joy stealer is things. It is futile and a set up for disappointment to let things be the primary focus of your life. The secret to a fulfilled and satisfying life is to make Christ the only one that matters. In Luke 12:15 Jesus warns, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.”
The final joy stealer is worry. Worry is the worst thief of all. We are not actually victims of worry because this joy stealer is an “inside job”. Plainly put we bring this upon ourselves. Many are robbed of peace and fulfillment because of worry. The bad thing about worry is that it not only has spiritual consequences but also physical side effects like stress, high blood pressure, and ulcers to name a few.
For instructions on how to increase your joy turn to God’s Word. If you aren’t exactly overflowing with joy and could use some more, retreat to God in prayer. God’s Word will unlock the treasure of joy and the secret of lasting peace. Look for the best in every situation. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Make it your daily practice to be thankful and give thanks. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7). Maintain Your Joy!