I was almost robbed this morning. Robbed of joy. In this most joyous of seasons, “thinking over” became over-thinking, and I nearly twitched with anxiety way before my first sip of caffeine. The issue, so insignificant as to be invisible to the naked eye, magnified to outrageous proportions thanks to a little help from my “friends” a.k.a. “thoughts”. I even picked a fight with John. Thankfully, he slept through it all.
So I started thinking about joy, and joy-stealers. I have experienced pure, inexplicable joy in the most unlikely circumstances. Like, years ago when the FBI told us a hit-man had been hired to do us in, and we chose to stay and serve the church John pastored, rather than change our names and move out of state via the victim witness program. And like the time grief and mourning turned to joy as we prayed over a family situation.
So, if circumstances doesn’t rob joy, what does?
Unbelief. Unbelief pretty much leads to every dastardly deed in my life. I don’t believe God is in control, so I worry. I don’t believe God’s Word is relevant to my situation, so I disobey. I don’t believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, so I judge other’s disbelief. I don’t believe God has a plan, so I lick my wounds, take control-ha! what a ridiculous concept- and snuff out one of the most convincing proofs that God exists, and lives in me: JOY.
So today I choose joy, because I choose to believe. And in those times when my heart beats to a different drum, I will pray as the desperate father did in Mark 9:24:
“I believe- help me in my unbelief!”
“The Bible is a book of joy. There are 542 references to joy in the Bible. The gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ is a passport to joy. The secret of Jesus was-and is- His inner joy.” S. Wirt