Stealing Our Joy
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The enemy looks for any opportunity he can to steal from us. He knows if he can steal our joy it will impact the choices we make and our ability to enjoy the “full” (exceeding, going beyond, abundant) life Jesus died for us to have. When we are not enjoying life, we may withdraw from people, thus missing opportunities to minister and encourage them. We may also withdraw from God out of discouragement, causing us to miss opportunities to hear what He has to say to us about our situation. Discouragement and despair cause us to focus within, like an animal licking its wounds. But God makes it clear that we will not find the joy we hunger for by looking inside, but by looking up. A deep revelation of God’s goodness will ease our pain, give us strength to get through, even move us to shout and sing His praises in the midst of trial. When we are able to praise Him despite our circumstances, we are practicing spiritual warfare, a vital skill in our life on this earth. Simply put, it is impossible for the dark to remain when it is exposed to light. As soon as I turn on a lamp in a dark room, the dark is no longer there. Dark and light simply cannot exist together. When we are struggling, the most effective thing we can do is to focus on God’s goodness, faithfulness and power, and praise Him for it! Our circumstances may or may not change, but our outlook will certainly change as we’re going through it.