We all have experienced joy stealers in our Christian life. Joy in the Christian life is very similar to enjoying a plane ride. We’ve all seen the movies where the characters are zipping along at warp speed through the clouds only to experience the motor stalling out.
Once the motor stalls, the joy ride is over, and the plane enters survival mode.
Our joy in the Christian life is very similar. We accept Jesus and are full of the joy of the Lord. But then life happens, tragedy happens, betrayal happens.
We enjoy the ride until our joy stalls, and we feel like we are falling out of the sky of a satisfied soul to a depressive heart. So check out the five joy stealers in your life and get back to enjoying the joy of the Lord.
In order to enjoy the Christian life, we have to surrender control to God. Look at the first part of the word Christian. Christ is in control whether it feels that way or not. Our abilities and power pale in comparison to that of God. No wonder we freak out and lose our joy when we try to control things.
Because we are facing circumstances that only God has the ability to handle. Just as you enjoy the flight more when you surrender your trust to the pilot, we can breathe easy when we surrender the controls of our life to the one with power.
Idols make you idle
One of the other joy stealers we entertain in life is idols. We may not worship a gold statue, but they are there. We can turn good things such as family, hobbies, and our abilities into a replacement for the ultimate good God actually is.
The problem with idols is that they produce idle results. No rescue has ever come from the idols of our hearts. The longer we don’t see a rescue on the horizon, the more panicked we get.
God gets results and always rescues us right on time. The more we see God be there for us, the more our joy grows and takes root in our hearts.
One of the most lethal joy stealers that the enemy uses is comparison. The enemy can’t take away what God’s already done in your life. So he instead tries to get you to discount your experience.
This comes in the form of subtle comparisons to other people, subtle thoughts that you are not good enough, and anything to distract you from the settled love of Jesus.
Because the enemy doesn’t want you to let your mind focus on how you can measure up because Jesus gave it all up. You are redeemed and loved.
So remember that comparison is the thief of joy and the seed of contempt in your life.
In our social-media-crazed world, we love to chase the crowd. We love the likes, shares, and comments. Studies have even shown that our brain gets hits of dopamine when we get a notification.
But here’s the thing, chasing the crowd never ends well. Jesus can testify to this. He never chased the crowd. He did chase the will of His Father. Now did that cause the crowds to chase him? Yes, to a degree. But the story ended with a crucifixion.
In the same way, the quickest way to allow your joy to be stolen is by putting it in the hands of the crowd. By serving for the applause of man instead of the approval of heaven. Do it for Jesus, and your joy will be full.
feelings hijack your faith
Nothing can steal our joy more than feeling like we aren’t accepted in God’s eyes. Our standing before God isn’t based on feelings but on what God has accomplished on the cross. But feelings are one of the biggest joy stealers that can be encountered.
Because these feelings can often go unchecked and produce insecurities in our minds about God. These insecurities can sink us, such as we aren’t good enough and Jesus wasn’t enough.
So we have to tell our feelings how God feels about us. No matter what, we know how God feels because of the cross. He knew every sin, every mistake, and every regret. Yet He gave it all. So focus on the One who died in your place over the frown on your face.
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