Can’t steal my joy

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By Joan Davis

Years ago, when the children of a good friend of mine were very small, they would say a phrase to each other that has stuck with me throughout the years. When one of the children was upset with the others, he would say they were “stealing his joy”. I would smile and inwardly chuckle as it was a sweet way to express their annoyance with each other. But, as I have thought about it over the years I have wondered how often it is that our joy is actually “stolen”. I don’t mean our “happiness”, but instead, joy – joy in the Lord. You see, true joy is a gift from God and can only fade when we take our eyes off of Him. That kind of joy can’t be taken from us unless we allow it to be. Happiness is dependent upon our circumstances, but joy happens in spite of them.

I know this to be true! It was during an extremely challenging and painful time in my life that I first learned this truth. I found that as I stopped focusing on the difficulty and turned my attention to what the Lord was trying to teach me through the situation, joy re-entered my life. As I began to trust God and believe that He had a plan for me that was good, even though I was in the midst of turmoil, the tiny glimmer of light grew. And as it grew, so did my strength. God then enabled me to travel through that difficult season in my life and feel the joy that only knowing Jesus brings. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NLT).

When I began to focus on Jesus and His activity in and around my life I started to see things from a different view. I became hungry for His Word and I avidly read and studied its pages. I prayed and poured out my heart to Him…not just once or twice, but constantly throughout the day. When I awoke during the night and couldn’t sleep, I asked Him what He wanted to tell me in that moment, realizing it was He who had opened my eyes. The more I came before Him, the more I wanted to be with Him…and our relationship grew bringing a surprising joy and inner peace that I had never experienced before. In the midst of my sorrow, when I had lost so much, God’s loving embrace taught me to find the joy in Him. “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy” (Psalm 5:11 NLT).

And as it is promised in the 23rd Psalm, God brought me through that valley and others that were to come later in my life. Now I cannot even imagine a day without Him. Stresses, difficulties and yes, some unhappy times may come and go, but I know that through it all, Jesus will be there to strengthen me. Nothing will take my joy from me for the Lord is my Joy, my Strength and my Redeemer forever. Amen!

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4 NLT)

In His Grip, Joan

 

JoanJoan Davis started her blog, The Beauty in His Grip, in order to share her thankfulness to God for His redeeming hand on her life. She believes that everything happens for a reason and the life-lessons learned along the way should be shared with others in order to build up the body for Christ. It is her desire is to encourage other women through the lessons that God has taught her. Joan shares the incredible truth that we can never fall so far that we are beyond the reach of God. There are no lost causes, for He loves us all. It doesn’t matter how rocky our pasts, God will always accept us when we surrender our lives to Him. With Christ we can live a life filled with abundant joy simply by knowing and experiencing Him through His mercy, grace and unfailing love.

18 Responses to Can’t steal my joy

  1. Joan, I especially love when you wrote:
    “You see, true joy is a gift from God and can only fade when we take our eyes off of Him.”

    Going through many difficulties has also taught me this very lesson. When I focus on the difficulties, I become anxious. But when I keep my eyes on Jesus, He teaches me, leads me and comforts me through the storms of life.

    A beautiful reminder. So glad you are writing for Women Walking with Jesus.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • It can take some discipline to keep focused on Him, can’t it? But, when we do, like you wrote, he teaches, leads and comforts through all that is before us! Thanks for your encouragement, Debbie!

      Blessings, Joan

  2. Focusing on Jesus makes me hungrier for His Word too. All the answers, or solutions to life happenings are there to feast on and set me straight. I am always encouraged in that James verse you end with!

    • I love that no matter what storm is blowing around me, Jesus can ALWAYS calm it with a single word. Focusing on Him and His word has brought me through some challenging times and I always know I can count on Him!

      Blessings, Joan

  3. Joan, I’m glad you shared about loosing our joy because probably all of us do from time to time. I will remember this post because of the saying the children had, that they wouldn’t let their joy be stolen…what an eye-opener. We know the enemy comes to kill steal and destroy so of course he doesn’t like us being joyful. Like you, I’ve learnt to be joyful despite all that life throws at me because of Paul’s mighty challenge to us when he said he had learnt to be content…even in prison. Wow ! I also think Of Jesus saying that for the JOY set before him, He endured the cross, and this makes me think that if we endure trials and afflictions, we too will come through to a place where we know JOY.. Glad we’ve got to that place Joan.

    • Hi Mary! My first reply to you didn’t post, so I’m trying again! Hopefully, two comments won’t eventually show up! LOL You’re right. The enemy certainly doesn’t like us to be joyful! So, in order to “show him” let’s remember to keep our eyes on the Lord! Each day, when I get out of bed and place my feet on the floor, I want my first thought to be of Jesus. That way, I know that no matter what circumstances I face during the day, my eyes will start out in the right place. If I feel myself moving my focus away from where it should be, I will remember that my joy is IN the Lord and no one can take that away! Blessings, Joan

    • And…we’ve been given the best weapons! The tools to combat the enemy are in God’s word. Each day when we wake, we need to remember to put on the armor of God. Then, no enemy will be able to steal our joy~

  4. Yes! I read your post because I needed to read and write on joy today. It was inside and I had to get it out. “When I focus on the difficulties, I become anxious. But when I keep my eyes on Jesus, He teaches me, leads me and comforts me through the storms of life.” Amen. He proves that over and over again! Thank you!

    • I’m so glad you were encouraged! So many of us (all of us!) can struggle with this. But, we simply need to remember from Whom our joy comes and keep our eyes on Him!

      Blessings, Joan

  5. Thanks for this reminder, Joan. God gave us joy to keep, not to hold loosely to and give away at the first sign of trouble. I’m not always good at it, but I want to get better at remembering that my joy is permanent, regardless of circumstances around me!

  6. This is such a great reminder, as Lisa commented, of how we can respond with joy and grow closer to God during our times of trial.

  7. This was a beautiful post, Joan. No wonder the Bible says, the joy of the Lord is our strength. For when we lose our joy, we begin to feel so defeated. I can so relate to what you were saying. We have recently been facing such difficult circumstances, and I know God is using these experiences as teaching opportunities for us. It is hard to be joyful in the midst of such pain and hurt, but I am trying to keep my focus on HIM and the joy that I know comes from being in His favor. Thank you for sharing your heart…it was such a blessing.

    • I’m so sorry you have been facing challenges right now, Cheryl. But, your attitude is great! We can’t go wrong when we keep our focus on the Lord. I pray that He shows you His beauty and you can feel His joy during this time.

      Blessings, Joan

  8. I agree, Joan. I don’t believe that our joy can be stolen, but we allow it to be lost or replaced. We give it away when we give in to the lies of the enemy. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Great post. And thanks also, for hosting Sharing His Beauty.

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