“What happened to your joy?” – Galatians 4:15
“…now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” – John 16:22
This Christmas season as I have thought about joy; I have seen those things which give great joy and on the opposite hand those things which just as easily can take it away.
Have you ever thought about who or what it is that steals your joy…?
A harsh word
Comparison (“the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt)
Focusing on self
Jesus warned us about one who steals. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10) He also told a story of a farmer, a seed, and the evil one who wanted to steal the seed. (Matthew 13:1-23) Jesus was speaking of stealing the message of our salvation, but the evil one is also one who steals our joy and will use whatever means he can to do it.
If we were to consider our joy as something that could be taken away or stolen, we might treat this joy differently. In the same way, we guard and protect our material possessions (we lock our houses, our cars) against thieves, we might strive harder to protect our joy, a pearl of great worth.
So how do we protect our joy?
It could be guarding our heart against things which would want to steal it away. For me during this Christmas season, it was taking a break from Instagram and the comparison Instagram was feeding in my life. For you, it might be something else. When you begin to give it some thought, you can start to pinpoint those thieves of joy circling your life.
Protecting joy might also mean adding things into our lives which create joy. This holiday season Christmas music has brought me much joy (“…the best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” – Buddy the Elf) bringing a smile to my face and leading to kitchen dance parties with my girls.
Here are a few of the songs I’ve been listening to…I dare you to just try and not dance 🙂
and then my favorite…
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’ ” – Luke 1:10
Jesus, God Emmanuel – our joy.