Keeping Our Joy
Micca Monda Campbell

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)

She waited until I had spoken to every woman in line. Once the room was empty, the woman timidly made her way toward me. Before she spoke a word, I could see and sense her grief. Her face was marked with depression and her shoulders hung low from the burden that she carried. With quivering lips and tear-filled eyes, she spoke words no mother wants to hear coming from her own lips.

“Please pray for my fifteen-year-old daughter. She’s pregnant.”

This godly woman has loved and served God in her home, church, and community for years. Now, she does nothing. Ashamed, she blames herself for her child’s choices, and because of them, considers herself unworthy to serve. Not only has this woman allowed her situation to steal her peace and joy, but her service too.

Many Christians fall into this same trap. They allow the enemy to rob them of their peace, steal their joy, and kill their witness over situations beyond their control.

It’s true. Satan has always been a tempter, but where he catches us off guard is by thinking he tempts us to do bad things. Our flesh mostly takes care of that job. The fact is Satan tempts us in order to lose what God has given us.

If Satan can rob our joy and steal our witness, then he makes us useless in the kingdom of God. Just like this mother, we become unproductive when our faith is stripped by unexpected heartbreak. Nevertheless, you and I must not let Satan use our circumstances to steal our joy.

That sounds good, but how do we find true joy in midst of heartache? We find it by depending on the Lord. David reminds us, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Ps 28:7).

First, David believed God heard his cries. Second, he relied on God’s provision and strength. Third, David trusted in God’s help with all of his heart. This kept him from growing weak, losing heart, and giving up. Finally, because David believed God was for him, in him, with him, and behind him one hundred percent, David was able to give thanks with a joyful heart.

Like David and this mother I spoke with, we will experience situations that can steal our joy and leave us feeling unworthy to serve. To think this way is to see ourselves outside of God’s grace. You and I don’t serve God because we are good enough. We serve God because He’s good enough. It’s His perfection working through our imperfections.

By the same token, our joy is not defined by our circumstances. It’s based on our relationship with God who, in due time, will bring us out of our present situation.

Exercising faith in God - not circumstances - aids the discouraged heart so that Satan cannot steal our joy or our purpose.

Dear Lord, Today I refuse to let Satan steal my joy. I long for the fullness of life that You have given me. As I trust You in my present situation, I also trust You to restore my peace and joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight, pre-order yours today!

Hope in the Midst of Depression by Mary Southerland

Visit Micca Campbell’s blog

Application Steps:
Using David as an example, follow his steps found in Psalm 28:7…
1. Cry out to God.
2. Rely on His provision and strength.
3. Believe in and wait on His help.
4. Praise Him with a joyful heart.

Reflections:
Has Satan stolen your joy?

How has this affected your witness; your life; and your service to the kingdom?

Power Verses:
Nehemiah 8:10b, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (NIV)

Ps 27:6, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord” (NIV)

© 2008 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.


8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yet will I praise Him!" In all the many painful moments in my life, with my heart hurting and my eyes red from crying, God has seen to it that someone ministered to me to help me find my joy buried deep inside. Through depression, fear, ridicule and abuse from those who proclaim to be Christian, I had allowed myself to be beaten down to a point where I had nothing to give to anyone. I thank God for Proverbs 31 ministries.
I read your words of encouragement every day and read the scriptures that are listed. I use my prayer journal. I print out messages that give me hope and paste them into my journal. I pray for those who persecute me and slowly....it's a process.........I am coming out of my heartache and into the light.
Satan uses situations to take our eyes off of Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. I cannot allow him to do that to me and must rise up and praise my Lord and allow others to see me serve Him who is faithful.
I will keep my eyes on Him. The situations in my life remain the same, but I will live on the promises of God that He will never forsake me or abandon me.
Thank you Proverbs 31 ministries. You are another life line for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's message. I will strive not to lose my joy. My husband has been a wonderful dad and my ideal companion. We have faced many tribulations together supporting each other all the way. He overcame an addiction to alcohol 20 years ago but he has started to drink again. It is not heavy drinking at this time but I am so afraid that it will worsen. I know this is an attack from the enemy. I am struggling to find ways to help him and myself through this. Some days I don't know what my attitude towards him should be. I am seeking refuge in my faith. I am trying to look within me and improve my relationship with our Lord in order to face this. I am not willing to let this attack destroy our lives. Please pray for us. I am pleading to God to give me the weapons I need. I know He loves my husband and I pray that He will manifest his power in my husband's life. Today I will concentrate on the joy of knowing that I am not alone in this battle. I will concentrate on Psalm 121.
Thank you for your daily devotions. You are helping me tremendously.

Blogger Joy-o-Joy said...

Your devotion this morning struck a familiar chord with me, and I'm going to use it as a soap box to sing God's praises. Because I am living proof of God's comforting strength in the face of adversity: Back in May, my husband of 28 years told me that he didn't love me any more and was choosing to start a new life with another woman. I had to deal not only with my own heartbreak, but also with that of our 16-year-old daughter.
Satan was terribly mistaken if he thought that this blow would take my eyes from Jesus, because the first place I went was to the Lord on my knees, and I have clung to him since. God has been my wonderful counselor, and the joy of the Lord has truly been my strength through it all. In July my daughter and I moved from Georgia (where we both had been miserable anyway), and started a new life in California, where we are close to my mother and my brother. My daughter is in an awesome school, and God has been providing me with plenty of free-lance work to support us. We are so richly blessed every day. It is very true that ALL things work for the good of those who love the Lord.

And God is working miracles in healing my heart toward my former husband as well. My daily prayer for him is that God would "create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within him."

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was very helpful as I have definitely let present circumstances steal my joy. Thank you for the steps of David.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I let Satan take my joy away but
only for a little while.My family
has been thru stressful times but we survived and God brought us
thru. We also had our church family support and we realize how
important it is to be real with
others - even when its not so
pretty and since we are on staff
at the church, it helps others
to realize Satan attacks even more
when you are doing God's work.It
also helped others to reach out
and show compassion to us and others.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be a noble lenient being is to be enduring a make of openness to the in the seventh heaven, an cleverness to group undeterminable things beyond your own manage, that can govern you to be shattered in unequivocally outermost circumstances as which you were not to blame. That says something very impressive about the fettle of the principled life: that it is based on a conviction in the fitful and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a weed than like a sparkler, something fairly fragile, but whose acutely precise handsomeness is inseparable from that fragility.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every tom's sustenance, at some pass‚, our inner pep goes out. It is then blow up into enthusiasm at near an face with another benign being. We should all be thankful recompense those people who rekindle the inner transport

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In harry's time, at some dated, our inner throw goes out. It is then burst into passion beside an contend with with another benign being. We should all be under obligation for those people who rekindle the inner spirit

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