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
Our spiritual enemy is at work. His only mission is to steal, kill and destroy. He wants exactly the opposite of what God wants for us. Satan is very good at deceiving us and leading us off in harmful directions.
The Way I’m Robbed of Joy
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 ESV
Joy is from the Lord. It is one of the many blessings He bestows on us as we copy Jesus.
The Enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy this joy.
For me, he does this in two ways. He creates fear and discontent in my heart.
The fear comes in the form of stress, anxiety and worry about the future. It isn’t even really overt. It is just a subtle undercurrent that flows in my thought-life. But, because of it, I can’t fully enjoy what God has given me.
The discontent is envy. It is coveting what my neighbors have. Basically, it is a product of comparison. I see what others have (real or imaginary) and I begin to feel that somehow I’m lacking something. I then get tunnel vision on what I think I’m missing instead of appreciating all that I have.
These two lies are the one-two punch the enemy throws at me to rob me of the joy God offers.
Jesus Is the Path to Joy
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 NIV
God’s word is clear that we need to avoid things that lead to fear and discontentment. He’s tried to warn us. He’s given us the Bible with guidance on how to live. He even sent someone to model the right way to live. Joy comes when we follow His ways. There is fullness of joy when we copy Jesus.