“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy !”, Matthew 2:10
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people”, Luke 2:10
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! This week, we are lighting the candle of joy and focusing our attention on Jesus — the Light of Joy. That is what people were looking for those 2,000 years ago as they awaited the Messiah — the hope, peace, love and JOY we so need and desire.
Sadly, most people today do not understand real joy. They almost treat it as if it were a rarity, rather than the norm. But that is not what God intended!
John 15:11 says, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” These are Jesus’ words directly to us. Our joy does not come from outside circumstances but from the Holy Spirit who resides within us.
That is because joy is not an emotion, it is, as Galatians 5:22 tells us, a fruit of the spirit. Joy is already inside every born-again believer!
Joy at Christmas
Just because joy is in you, does not mean you do not have to guard and cultivate it.
Maybe this Christmas, you are lacking the real joy you know the season should bring. Even in what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, we can face situations that seem custom-designed to steal all the joy out of Christmas and life.
Financial pressure. Family dynamics. Work situations. Health concerns. These are all things that try to steal our joy every day of the year.
The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and without this joy, we won’t be able to live the blessed life God has planned for us at Christmas, or any other time of year.
Your Joy Is Your Power
Since the joy of the Lord is your strength, you have probably noticed that when you are down and discouraged, you also feel sapped of strength, energy and purpose. You feel powerless. That’s the devil’s plan — to render you helpless.
Here is something you must remember: Joy is not subject to your circumstances—your circumstances are subject to your joy. That is pretty much the opposite of what the world will tell you, is it not?
That is what makes joy so crucial. You can not live a life of faith without being strong in the Lord — and when God wants to make you strong, joy is what He uses to do the job!
Joy is not just a state of mind. It is not a fleeting emotion. Joy is a very real force, and the devil does not have anything that can stand up against it. Just as fear has to yield to faith, discouragement has to yield to joy.
Whatever circumstances you are facing today, you can be full of joy. You can be strong in the Lord. You can draw on the supply of the Holy Spirit within you and come out on top.
We may be challenged, we may be tried, we may be weeping in the night, but joy comes in the morning — not six months from now!
So, next time you are facing troubles that seem to steal the joy right from under your Christmas tree, be intentional about releasing the joy that is already inside you. Laugh out loud at the devil; declare, “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”; begin to praise and worship Him. When you stir up joy within your spirit, your strength will be renewed as well. And that type of strength is unstoppable.
Do not ever let the devil steal your joy. It is where your power lies.
Resist the Joy Stealers
The best way to keep the devil from stealing your joy is to actively resist the joy stealers. Satan knows if he can get your joy, he can take everything else from you, too. That’s why Jerry Savelle wrote a book titled If Satan Can’t Steal Your Joy, He Can’t Keep Your Goods. That sums it up!
You can be aware of and on the lookout for Satan’s schemes. Here are three ways the enemy will attempt to steal your joy:
- 1. Depression
- Some people find themselves feeling depressed around Christmastime. But what happens when you get down, sad or depressed because you’re believing the enemy’s lies? You lose your will to fight. You don’t resist the thoughts of the enemy, and you don’t speak words of power that could bring redemption to the situation. You lose your joy, and therefore, you lose your strength and the victory.
Instead of giving in to the temptation to be depressed, we must resist the devil and get right back into joy. How?
Go to the Word of God, and choose to believe His promises. Speak what God says about the situation aloud.
This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4).
- 2. Fear
- The opposite of faith is fear.
If you are afraid, you are not believing that you will receive God’s promises. You have stepped out of faith and out of the joy of the Lord; and therefore, you no longer have strength to receive what God has promised.
When you are tempted to fear, roll your care over on the Lord, and refuse to worry about it anymore. Find a scripture that promises what you need, and do not let go.
Take a stand and refuse to let fear and discouragement come into your life.
- 3. Unforgiveness
- Have you ever noticed that when you are angry with someone who has wronged you, your joy goes out the window?
Think about it. If you do not practice walking in love, someone is going to get your joy before dark.
The Bible says that love forgives and takes no account of the evil done to it. That’s how you maintain your joy when someone does you wrong. If you don’t forgive, you are forfeiting your joy.
One way to prevent unforgiveness from stealing your joy is to immediately forgive those who have wronged you.
Keep Your Joy This Christmas
When you understand how powerful joy is — and that the only way to have true joy is through the Light of Joy Himself — you can get busy resisting the enemies of joy and keeping that fruit of the spirit growing and producing in your life.
Everyone can experience the joy of the Lord. The real challenge is keeping it every single day. As you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, do not let the pressures of the season and everyday life steal your joy. Remember, to let the Light of Joy, Jesus Himself, illuminate your path. Choose to be full of joy, and strong in the Lord. Draw on the supply of the Holy Spirit within you, and you will come out on top!
Watch Kenneth Copeland teach you how to resist the devil with joy.
Video Feature – Celebrating Jesus – the Light of Joy this Christmas
Click here for Week 4 of our four-week Christmas reading plan