Joy is the natural state of being for a follower of Jesus. The Bible indicates that joy is connected to being filled with the Spirit in Acts 13:52. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. Joy and peace come as we trust in God according to Romans 15:13 and Romans 14:17 says that being part of God’s Kingdom means being a person of joy. Hebrews 1:9 says that as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps and come to love righteousness, God fills us with joy. Joy is the natural state of being for a follower of Jesus.
It isn’t surprising, then, that The Liar greatly desires to steal that joy. His desire isn’t for joy and peace in your life; his hallmarks are pain and frustration and confusion and disillusion and worry and anxiety and guilt and shame and depression and fear. The Liar attempts to squeeze out your joy with many things. This is perhaps the greatest thievery The Liar endeavors, and the assault is continuous.
As a pastor, I am constantly working with people who have had their joy stolen; people who have been bombarded with the struggles of life; people who have lost their perspective; people whose faith is waning. As soon as they sin The Liar tells them that they are useless, that they are worthless and an embarrassment to the Kingdom. As soon as life gets difficult The Liar tells them that God has abandoned them, that he doesn’t love them and that they are on their own. As soon as they have the thought of something bad happening The Liar tells them to run, to hide away and to cower in a dark corner. He uses every opportunity he can to steal joy.
You should know that The Liar can’t steal your joy unless you allow him to. You are not helpless. You are not vulnerable. You are not at risk. The Liar steals our joy by lying and tricking us into giving him our joy. He is powerless to snatch it away from us. The only power he has is the power we give him by believing his lies and responding to them.
Jesus brings joy. Reconciliation with God brings joy. Obedience to the word brings joy. The filling of the Spirit brings joy. My sin does not change that. Life’s challenges do not change that. Fear does not change that. In Christ there is joy.
Do not allow that thief to steal your joy. You have joy because you are a fully devoted follower of Jesus. You have been filled with the Spirit of God and you live in holy union with the Father as his dearly loved child. The next time that Liar brings you his list of lies, you tell him what the Bible says. You tell him who you are in Christ. You cling to your Jesus and hold on tightly to that joy. Joy is the natural state of being for you!