by Gloria Copeland
Are your holidays lacking the real joy you know the season should bring?
Even in what’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, we can face situations that seem custom-designed to steal all the joy out of Christmas and life.
Financial pressure. Family dynamics. Work situations. Health concerns. These are all things that try to steal our joy every day of the year.
The world will tell you that it’s impossible to feel joyful or happy all the time, especially in the midst of challenges, and if you do, something must be wrong with you.
Well, the world is wrong again, because the Bible says something different. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and without this joy, we won’t be able to live the blessed life God has planned for us at Christmas, or any other time of year.
Your Joy Is Your Power
The world is always seeking happiness, but happiness is only an emotion that can come and go without warning.
On the other hand, joy is one of the most powerful spiritual forces in the world and one of the fruits of the Spirit that only comes from a relationship with Almighty God.
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
That strength we find in Him gives us the power to overcome trials and great obstacles in our lives.
That’s what makes joy so crucial. You can’t live a life of faith without being strong in the Lord—and when God wants to make you strong, joy is what He uses to do the job!
The joy of the Lord is not dependent upon your circumstances—it comes from your spirit. When the truth in God’s Word gets down into your spirit, the truth will set you free from bondage, depression and fear.
If the joy of the Lord is your strength, you can be sure that the devil is out to steal it from you. He knows that if he can get your joy, he can take everything else from you, too.
But, you can be aware of and on the lookout for his schemes. Here are three ways the enemy will attempt to steal your joy:
If you’ve ever faced a trying situation, such as the loss of a job, a loved one, a struggling marriage relationship, or health problems, you know that depression tries to come on you quickly.
The only weapon the devil has is lies. And he’ll use those lies to try and get you to accept what he’s dishing out instead of what God wants you to have. If you play along, he’ll defeat you.
What happens when you get down, sad or depressed because you’re believing the enemy’s lies? You lose your will to fight. You don’t resist the thoughts of the enemy, and you don’t speak words of power that could bring redemption to the situation. You lose your joy, and therefore, you lose your strength and the victory.
Instead of giving in to the temptation to be depressed, we must resist the devil and get right back into joy. How?
Go to the Word of God, and choose to believe His promises. Speak what God says about the situation aloud.
For example, say, “No, you don’t, problem.”
“Sickness, you get off my body.”
“Poverty, you’re under the curse, and I’ve been redeemed from the curse.”
“Satan, get your hands off my money!”
This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4).
God’s Word is the source of your joy. Joy is a cure for depression because you can’t get depressed and also walk in the joy of the Lord at the same time. It just doesn’t work! So stay in joy!
The opposite of faith is fear. Fear is putting faith in what you don’t want to happen. Fear is not a position of strength but of weakness. When you choose to allow fear to come into your life, it zaps the joy and strength right out of you.
When you’re walking by faith, you believe you receive God’s promises, and therefore, you have no reason to fear or lose your joy.
On the other hand, if you are afraid, you are not believing that you will receive God’s promises. You’ve stepped out of faith and out of the joy of the Lord, and therefore, you no longer have strength to receive what God has promised.
When you are tempted to fear, roll your care over on the Lord and refuse to worry about it anymore. Find a scripture that promises what you need, and don’t let go. Refuse to let fear and discouragement come in.
Take a stand and say, “I believe I receive my healing.”
“I believe I receive my car.”
“I believe I receive the salvation of my children. I have it. Thank You, Lord.”
Have you ever noticed that when you’re angry with someone who has wronged you, your joy goes out the window?
Think about it. If you don’t practice walking in love, someone is going to get your joy before dark.
The Bible says that love forgives and takes no account of the evil done to it. That’s how you maintain your joy when someone does you wrong. If you don’t forgive, you are forfeiting your joy.
One way to prevent unforgiveness from stealing your joy is to immediately forgive those who have wronged you.
Keep Your Joy This Christmas
Everyone can experience the joy of the Lord. The real challenge is keeping it every single day. As you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, don’t let the pressures of the season and everyday life steal your joy. Instead, choose to be full of joy, and strong in the Lord. Draw on the supply of the Holy Spirit within you, and you’ll come out on top!
Dare to Shine His Light on Joy This Christmas!
- What situations threaten to steal your joy this Christmas? Defeat your enemy by the strength that comes only from the joy of the Lord! Spend time building yourself up in the truth of His Word concerning your situation.
- Use a concordance, the index in the back of your Bible, or the internet to search for all of the Bible verses that contain the word Then meditate on these scriptures as you seek to make them a reality in your life.
- When you find yourself tempted to grumble, complain, or feel sorry for yourself, declare aloud, “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”
© 1997 - 2017 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.