“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;” Isaiah 55:12
Joy. It is a feeling that seems so simple, yet the pressures of life somehow seem to complicate it.
How many times have you begun a day with the intention of having a joyful attitude? But then, you get stuck in traffic, arrive late at work, deal with an angry customer, spill food on your brand new blouse, forget an appointment you have, and anything else to spoil your day. Now joy is the last word in your vocabulary, and your attitude is stuck sour.
When me and my husband were dating, I went through a rough time in my life. Being happy did not come easy with the hussle and bussle of college, a full-time job, and the dwindling relationships I was dealing with. However, one day he said something that stuck with me.
“God has given you joy. Refuse to let the Devil take it.”
In that moment, I realized that joy is gift. And just like Christmas or birthday gifts, this gift is free regardless of where my life is at the time.
Our joy should not be dependent upon our surroundings because our source of joy is God, not the world and certainly not the Devil. However, the Devil will try to use the things of this world to steal this great gift we have been given. He knows that nothing can stand in our way if we learn to have joy in tribulation.
God’s word says to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4 ESV).
It does not say rejoice when life is splendid. It says to rejoice ALWAYS. Even when it seems as if life is completely against you.
There’s a song we use to sing at my church until we could not sing anymore. The lyrics state “I refuse, I won’t let nobody steal my joy!”
So I challenge you. Don’t let anybody or any circumstance steal the joy that Jesus has given to you as a free gift. You wouldn’t take your most treasured Christmas gift and throw it in the trash just because you had a string of bad “gifts”. So why throw away the precious gift of joy God has for you? Remember, although sorrow lasts for the night, joy comes in the morning.