By Scott Pauley
This world is full of joy stealers. Behind them all is a miserable devil whose only delight is to “steal, kill, and destroy.” It is a rare and refreshing thing to meet someone whose mission is to bring the joy of Jesus into other lives. Paul was such a man. In one of the most difficult letters he ever wrote we read these touching words:
“Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24).
Joy is rooted in personal faith in God. Each of us must believe the Lord for ourselves and in so doing discover the joy that only He can bring. Yet in the midst of this truth is the powerful reminder that I can be a “helper of your joy,” and you can be a helper of mine. Every time I point someone to Christ I am a helper of their joy!
Recently I have spoken to so many discouraged people. It is the spirit of the age. Satan is doing everything possible to dishearten God’s people at this crucial time in history.
The Lord has reminded me that if I am to help others have joy, I must keep it myself! Read the Gospel Records carefully and notice Christ’s desire that our joy be full (John 15:11; 16:24). Peruse the New Testament epistles and you will find the same emphasis (1 Peter 1:8; 2 John 12; Jude 24). God always intended His children to live with overflowing joy. Are you?
Before Nehemiah could lead others to joyful service he had to believe himself that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Don’t lose your joy!
Don’t lose your smile. It testifies to all who see it that the beauty of God is on you.
Don’t lose your shout. Keep the holy enthusiasm about being a child of God. “Praise the Lord!” should be a familiar refrain among those who have had their sins forgiven.
Don’t lose your song. Maintain a happy heart. Practice gratitude. You may not be much of a singer but you have Someone to sing about!
The smile, the shout, and the song are not things to be worked up. They bubble up out of a happy heart. God’s joy is not pumped up; it is tapped into. George Muller said the first thing he attended to every morning was to get his heart in a happy state with the Lord. Out of this joy came the strength for all he was called on to do.
My favorite New Testament book is the little epistle of Philippians. It is a book about the joy that Jesus promised. If you want a good book on this letter read Guy King’s Joy Way. Only one way brings true and lasting joy. It is walking with Christ every day.
You may lose many things. You may lose everything. But don’t lose your joy!.