Joy Stealers (Guest Post from My Wife)

JOY STEALERS…you may know people like this! They may be your ex-spouse, a co-worker, even your parents or siblings. You have exciting news, or something special happening in your life, but they cannot receive it, or celebrate it with you, because they are critical, judgmental, complain, gossip, point out flaws, focus on everything that that is wrong with the situation, and ultimately drain you, and leave you not nearly as excited as you were. But please realize IT’S THEM, not you!

People can easily become jealous of us and what the Lord is doing in or through us. They tend to have their own perception of what they think is right and wrong for us, OR focus on how our news will affect them (self interest) and how it will make them look. However, only God knows what is best for each of us.

We must remember, “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 

We have to be alert and self-controlled because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He comes to kill, steal, and destroy, so we have to be aware of his schemes, as he uses people to accomplish his purpose (John 10:10). 

The Bible says do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer (Ephesians 4:27-28). 

The Lord says, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly” John 10:10. It’s the opposite of what the devil is trying to accomplish. It is a fullness of life characterized by intimately knowing God. We are commanded to let this light we have shine before men (Matthew 5:16). We let other people snuff our lights out when we get into the spirit of “approval seeking” and fearing what others think. However, God gives us power through the Holy Spirit to live a life free from joy stealers. 

So when you have good news to share, don’t worry about what other people think! Focus on what the Lord is doing in your life because:”Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right” Psalm 97:11

“Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts” Psalm 119:2

“Joyful are those who fear the Lord – all who follow His ways.” Psalm 128:1

“Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.” Psalm 40:4

And let us pray these things when someone attempts to steal our joy…

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13) 

And be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11).

In conclusion, Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

Here is some additional thoughts you might find helpful:

Author: Matthew Winters (The Comeback Pastor)

Born and raised in Portsmouth, VA, I eventually landed in upstate SC because when God calls I move. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 and surrendered to the call to ministry in 1997. I am a three-time graduate from Liberty University and Theological Seminary: BS in Religion (2003), the MA in Religion (Leadership concentration - 2006), and the Master of Divinity (Pastoral Ministries - 2013). I have served as a worship leader and senior pastor in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia since 1996. After experiencing a divorce, God graciously gave me my wife, Jennifer, whom I married in September 2015. Between the two of us, we have 6 children. I am the Lead/Founding Pastor of Overcomers Church in Walhalla, SC, a church plant that is helping those who have been overcome by life to become Overcomers in Christ. Jennifer and I both love people and long to see them enter into a relationship with Christ and walk in the power of His Spirit. I pray that these thoughts I share will challenge and inspire you to greater heights and deeper depths for the glory of Christ.

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