December 9, 2014

Joy Bandits

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 9, 2014

So with you: 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

If not mindful, I can allow joy bandits to break into my soul and steal my peace, contentment and happiness. When I don’t get my way, I am vulnerable to self-pity and anger—both are intruders on my intimacy with Jesus. These two accomplices only aggravate and attempt to eliminate my joyful attitude. Fortunately, by faith, prompted by my prayers—Almighty God can arrest these Christ-less criminals and place them in His prison. Jesus protects my joy!

Sorrow filled the hearts of the disciples as they finally realized these were their final moments with Jesus. They slept at prayer, because they were exhausted by the thought of being without the One who energized their faith, hope and love. Even these close followers of Christ were candidates for losing their joy. Their intimate walk with Jesus did not insulate them from a season of sorrow. However, Jesus made it clear they would see Him again, and no one would remove their joy. The resurrection of Christ resurrected the reality of His promises, especially the assurance of joy.

“Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20).

What threatens your soul’s security system? Who is the looming joy bandit lurking outside your heart’s home? Be prayerful to protect your mind from vain imaginations. If you obsess over a worse case scenario you overly exert your mental and emotional energy, which taps into and saps your joy. Moreover, pray for those who drain you and bring you down. By God’s grace refuse to allow another’s sour soul to sour your own. View a joyless person as someone whose emotional baggage and/or sorrow defines their inability to love well. Offer joy to pain filled joy bandits.

Most of all, we keep our eyes on Jesus. Our season of sorrow and grief will one day die and give way to the resurrection of rejoicing in the Lord. In this life we are not immune to unseen forces that threaten our faith. But, we know that joy comes in the morning time of our mourning. Grief is a process that God and godly friends support us through. We endure the process of pain so we can be sympathetic supporters of hurting souls who need our help. Thus, we lock up joy bandits by being loved by the Lord and loving for the Lord. In Jesus, no one takes our joy!

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14).

Prayer: Lord, don’t let self pity and anger rob me of intimacy with Jesus and destroy my joy.

Related Readings: Psalm 65:8; Isaiah 26:19; Jeremiah 31:12; 1 Peter 1:8; Jude 1:24

Post/Tweet this today: Our season of sorrow and grief will one day die and give way to the resurrection of rejoicing in the Lord. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- Chris Tomlin and Watoto Children’s Choir, Joy to the World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL3zFxWV2OU

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