John 15:11, 16:22
15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
16:22 Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Satan is real, not just a force of evil. He targets those areas of our lives where we are more vulnerable, more susceptible to temptation. He has multiple plans of attack knowing what, when and where we are most likely to be defeated.
- He worked on Paul through his thorn in the flesh.
- He worked on Peter through his impatience and not listening to the Lord.
- He worked on Noah through alcohol.
- He worked on Daniel through demonic oppression.
- He worked on Moses through an anger issue.
- He worked on David through sexual sin.
- He worked on Jeremiah through depression.
- He worked on Habakkuk through doubt.
- He worked on Jonah through tempting him to disobey God’s will.
- He worked on Hosea through his wife’s sin.
- He worked on Mark through his fear.
- He worked on Esther through someone trying to destroy her and her people.
- He worked on Saul through jealousy.
- He worked on Job through multiple heartaches.
- He worked on Nehemiah through criticism.
- He worked on Elijah through an evil woman named Jezebel.
But above everything else, if Satan can get this from you, he will have you right where he wants you. The target is your joy. Joy comes from one source and that is Jesus Christ. When you get saved, Jesus plants joy within you.
A woman asked her coworker, “What is it like to be a Christian?” The coworker replied, “It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top, and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed, and then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”
Consider Three Facts About Joy!
I. Joy is Use-able
Joy brings strength to you.
10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Joy infuses you with God’s power. Joy brings healing. It’s medicine to your soul.
22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Joy makes your faith contagious. It is one of God’s greatest public relations tools, encouraging people to inquire about our faith.
II. Joy is Choose-able
24 This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Being glad is a decision of the will, not a result of how you feel. Paul while in prison says:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
He tells us to “rejoice always” (I Thessalonians 5:16). Joy not only is not based on feelings, neither is it contingent upon one’s circumstances. Jesus modeled for us that joy is a choice.
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
III. Joy is Lose-able
22 Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
To lose your joy you have to allow it. People, circumstances, feelings, or not even the devil can steal your joy without your permission. Satan will attempt, however, to steal your joy primarily in Nine Ways. Satan tries to get you to:
- Doubt Your Salvation
Since Satan cannot steal your salvation, he will attempt to get you to doubt your salvation, since salvation is the source of your joy.
20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
3 Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
- Keep Your Bible Closed
If Satan can keep you out of God’s Word, he can get your joy. Not being in God’s Word daily is a way to give Satan permission to take your joy.
11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
I John 1:4
4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
- Get You Off the Prayer Line
Prayer brings joy so if Satan can keep you from praying he has an opportunity to take your joy.
24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
- Avoid the Offering Plate
When you give God’s way it brings great joy. Releasing your tithe and offerings will result in joy.
II Corinthians 8:1-2
8 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
Satan knows if he can get you worried and fretful about finances, he can steal your joy.
- Silence Your Praise
God dwells in an atmosphere of praise.
11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
If Satan can silence your praise he has an opportunity to steal your joy.
- Give into Your Circumstances
Satan will orchestrate circumstances to get your eyes off of Jesus. He will target your faith attempting to get you to look around instead of looking up.
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Get Your Eyes on People
Satan will use something someone says or does or what they don’t do to get at your joy. When you focus on people, you often get filled with disappointment, disillusionment and discouragement. People will let you down, and if the source of your joy is people, you can know that Satan will always try to keep things stirred up.
- Keep Closed-Mouthed about Your Faith
When you share Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit with others, it brings joy to your soul. There is no joy like the joy of leading someone to faith in Christ.
5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
- Get Out of God’s Will
Obedience to God’s will always brings joy.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (KJV)
Blessed means happy or joyful. When a Christian steps out of the will of God, he steals our joy.
To bring you joy and to protect your joy, nail down the assurance of your salvation; open God’s Word each day; practice prayer; be generous; choose to praise God no matter what; keep your eyes on Jesus and not circumstances and people; share your faith with others, and stay in the will of God.