August 11, 2017
Missing Some Joy?
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness. – Isaiah 61:10
Last weekend a friend and I decided to watch a DVD together. We went to my parents’ house to watch it because they have a better DVD player, but I was not familiar with how to operate their machine. There were three remote controls lying out, so I started with the one that looked the most familiar. I turned various boxes on and off and tried to go through a menu, but fifteen minutes later I was no closer to watching the DVD. Aggravated, I finally went to get my father for help, and he started teasing me! I was not in the mood for teasing.
How did hanging out with a friend become so frustrating? To put it simply, I had allowed the devil to rob me of my joy. One of the most amazing parts of being saved is the joy God gives us—the thrill in our hearts that can only come from knowing our sins are forgiven and we are on our way to Heaven. However, we have an adversary who would love to steal that joy from us. He wants to use everything from electronics, to inconsiderate drivers, and even our own family members to make us downhearted or bitter. He knows that a bad attitude will make us less effective in the work of the Lord, so we must be careful to protect the joy God has put in our hearts.
The world tells us that possessions such as houses, cars, or perhaps even a new DVD player will make us happy. But while those things can be nice, eventually they get old and we do not appreciate them like we did at first. Another popular thought is that traveling can bring fulfillment, perhaps by taking a cruise, experiencing nature, or seeing history. Yet most of us have experienced the frustration of travel plans gone wrong. Or, if nothing goes wrong and the trip is wonderful, then coming home will be disappointing unless we have a different source of joy. Many also believe that relationships are what bring contentment, but this, too, is a mistake. It is good to have loving relationships in life, but people are only human. If we look to them for our joy, we will certainly be let down. Allowing our joy to be dependent on anything but God causes our attitude to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions that we cannot control.
Has a situation disrupted your joy? Whether it is a minor irritation or a resentment that has gone on for years, we must not let the enemy rob us of one of the best gifts God has for us. When we begin to feel our joy giving way to aggravation or frustration, we must remember the true source of our joy. It is not things, or places, or people—it is only the Lord, and He never fails. He is all we need, and we can take every burden and care to Him. If we do that, the joy of the Lord will flood our souls.