Joy Robbers

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Four of us were having lunch and discussing the announcement at our Sunday morning church service. Most of the congregation had been surprised, shocked, and concerned. We talked about how this announcement could become a “joy robber” for all of us  — if we didn’t fix our eyes on Jesus and the Almighty God.

Have you had any surprise announcements lately that caused you to worry — at least at first?

An old man was asked what had robbed him of joy during his lifetime. He replied, “Things that never happened!” How true! We often worry about what could happen tomorrow, but never does.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippines 4: 11,

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Have we learned to be content in all circumstances? I would guess that you are still in the process of learning — I know I am.

What replaces the joy in our lives? The following is a list of circumstances that might be our “joy robbers.

•Fear of the future, fear of a health situation, fear of losing control.
•Fear of being alone, fear of change, fear of looking silly, fear of losing your job, fear of financial debt, fear of growing old, and fear of losing physical attractiveness.
•Anger, jealousy, a critical attitude, worry, and many more.

Most of us can relate to these “joy robbers.” How then, can we regain our joy?

When I feel my body tighten with worry, fear, anger, jealousy, or a critical spirit, I try to stop what I am doing or thinking and ask God to help me pin-point what emotion I am feeling. When I have identified it, I admit it to Him and ask Him to replace it with peace and joy (trusting in His sufficiency to handle the situation).

He reminds us that we need only live one day at a time and trust Him one day at a time.  “As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:21–23).

At the end of our luncheon discussion, we realized that God could handle this situation as well, but that we needed to trust Him for wisdom and do as He directed.

Father, thank You for giving us everything we need to follow Your directives.

by Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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