joy of the lord

Yesterday I was giving thanks for good things, and acknowledging that God really does want to bless our lives. I was feeling very content and joyful as I drove home from our eldest son’s soccer training later that night, when suddenly I saw a flash as I drove through the traffic lights. I quickly checked the speedometer to check I hadn’t been speeding. Nope, all good with my speed, so why the flash? And then it came, “like a bee in my ear” with the words, “Oh you’ve got a speeding ticket now, how much will that be, what a waste…blah blah blah”. The devil is a sneak and his tactic is to come suddenly, and if possible immediately to steal from us. He attempts to quickly come at us when we have just heard from God, we’ve had some good news, or we’re just having a great day. He comes, Jesus warns us to, “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)

Unfortunately depending on our life experience and relationship with God it is very easy to have our joy and expectation of good things happening in our lives stolen from us. We can get tired and worn down, and consequently stolen from. Instead of having an expectation of good, we brace ourselves for the “next thing”, which is why we need to be strengthened regularly with God’s secret weapon. King David knew what this secret weapon was when he cried out to God and prayed, “restore to me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with your generous Spirit.” (Psalm 51:12). Nehemiah 8:10 also says, “the joy of the Lord is your strength”.

God’s secret weapon to bring us through all we may face and empower us to withstand every attack, is joy! Without this joy we can start to only see our past or the problems immediately before us, rather than looking ahead to the future and better things ahead. Without joy we can lose our “bounce back power”, and a faith and expectation for good things.

If you have been stolen from, or you were like me busy expecting good things, to then suddenly have an annoying little niggle come and try to steal your expectation and joy, just like a ‘bee in your ear,” then I encourage you to go back to God’s promises and what He has spoken in His word. He promises He will replace any despair we have with a confidence and joy. He will fill our life with good things, that He won’t withhold any good thing from us, and that He delights in our prosperity – everything going well for us. (Psalm 35:27) He freely gives us His joy to keep our hopes alive, and the ability to keep walking, to keep praying, to keep praising, to keep giving, to keep expecting.

Don’t fall for the devil’s tactics to steal from you, but know that whatever you may face in your day you are not alone, nor are you powerless to change it. God is able to do far more than you can possibly think, ask, dream or imagine. So how about we start imagining, expecting and speaking an increase of good things happening, so that God will do far more in and through us.

Now to Him who is able to do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think (infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes or dreams), according to His power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Let the Lord be magnified. Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalm 35:27)

Prayer: Lord I ask you to help me to keep expecting good things in my life, even when the devil may try to steal from me. Please release in me the ability to dream and imagine for amazing joy, and good things happening from you. In Jesus Name Amen.