Joy is a blessing from the Lord and it is a blessing that the devil wants to steal from us. The devil tries to bring circumstances into our lives to steal our joy, but the choices we make are what determines if he is able to steal our joy or we will continue to feel our joy.
I read about a lady that was battling cancer and had taken both chemo and radiation. The weakened condition and loss of hair had started creating a bitter attitude in her. One day as she was thinking about her situation, she realized how it had affected her attitude and she decided that she was going to choose to have a good attitude from here on out.
The next day she woke up and said to herself that today is going to be a good day. When she began getting dressed for the day, she looked in the mirror to realize that her loss of hair had got down to just 3 hairs on her head. With a positive attitude, she smiled and said today is a good day to braid my hair. That day ended well and she went to bed feeling good about herself.
The next day she woke up and said to herself that today is going to be a good day. When looked in the mirror and saw that she only had 2 hairs left. She smiled and said today is a good day for pigtails. That day ended with her feeling good about herself as well.
The next day she woke up and said to herself that today is going to be a good day. She looked in the mirror and saw that she only had one hair left. She smiled and said today is a good day for a ponytail. That day ended with her feeling good about herself as well.
The next day she woke up and said to herself that today is going to be a good day. She looked in the mirror and saw that all her hair was gone. She smiled and said, I didn’t have time today to worry about my hair anyway.
Whether that story is true or not, I do not know, but it does give us a realization of how our circumstances of life can be changing every day. Our response to our circumstances determines whether the devil is able to steal our joy or we choose to continue to feel our joy.
Look with me at Ps. 51:10-12 and let’s see what the Psalmist, which is most likely David here, has to say about renewing our joy.
I want you to remember an S.O.S. signal to remember things that can steal your joy.
- Joy stealers (S.O.S.)
- Sin. Sin is a joy stealer. In reading verses 10-12, David talks about renewing and restoring. Both words are focused on bringing back and making new the joy of his salvation that he once had. It’s obvious by reading all of Ps. 51 that David’s sin had stolen his joy. David had chosen to sin by having an adulterous sexual relationship with Bathsheba and the results of sin had stolen his joy. The devil tempts us with sin that feels so good to start with, but the end results are the opposite. Don’t let sin come in and steal your joy.
- Obstacles. Obstacles that seem to be holding us back or preventing our progress and can steal our joy. David faced many obstacles, beginning with a giant and ending with family turmoil. These obstacles could have stolen David’s joy, but he kept pressing forward.
- Suffering. Suffering can steal our joy. David suffered the loss of a child and family turmoil. When we are physically or emotionally suffering, it can steal our joy. Suffering can not only drain us, but it can distract us from what God wants to do in our lives.
Many things can steal our joy, but this S.O.S. reminder can help us realize how the devil can come into our lives to steal our joy. The question that we need to answer is how do we defeat these joy stealers and put into our lives joy fillers?
- Joy fillers (3 Rs)
- Repent. Repentance is the way to defeat sin. Ps. 51 is filled with David pouring out his heart to God and seeking God’s forgiveness for his sin. The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:9 that God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all our unrighteousness. Repentance is the turn around for our sins.
- Resistance. The Bible tells us in James 4:7 to resist the devil and he will flee from you. The other key part of this verse is submitting to God and His will for your life.
- Reliance. Relying on the Lord will fill you with the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. Phil. 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things and endure all things through Christ that strengthens us.
Today is the day to choose whether your circumstances will be joy stealer or joy fillers.