Keeping the Joy Thief at Bay

Busyness Will Rob You of Joy

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.-Isaiah 35:10

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart (where?), down in my heart (where?), down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart (where?) down in my heart to stay.” We listen to the children sing this cute song and smile, and often we enjoy the motions and tune out without considering what the words really mean to us.

Joy is a godly inner attitude that applies to us as Christians even when we are busy. Does the word busy sum up your life? Busyness is a compilation of actions, and hurried is the attitude that flows out of that action. As women, we are multi-talented and multi-taskers. The housework is ever present. The children are calling our name. Time with our husband is due. An outside job crowds our life. We often volunteer in the community, and our church commitments await us. All this busyness can certainly rob us of the joy that should accompany our everyday lives.

The devil knows if he can steal our joy then eventually he can be victorious in our lives. The devil is the joy thief, and he often comes to us dressed in the garment of busyness. Proverbs 19:2 reminds us, “He that hasteth with his feet sinneth.”

Most of us do all we can to prevent a thief from entering our home. We lock our doors. We set an alarm. We put away valuables. Keeping our physical possessions from being stolen by a thief is very important, but how much more important it is for us to protect our spiritual treasures. Let’s take a few minutes and see how busyness affected the life of Jesus.

1. Jesus was busy, but never too hurried to pray. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35). We often have our public life in order, but what about our prayer life? Get up on time and read your Bible and pray each morning. This prepares your heart for the day. We often snooze the clock one too many times and skip our much-needed intimate time with God. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” God’s Word is our everyday nourishment, not just medicine for emergencies. Be consistent and don’t miss your appointment with the Lord. Keep a journal of what you read and how it speaks to your heart. Meditate on what you have read during the day. Psalm 1:2b, “In his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Pray faithfully and consistently. Dwell on such verses as John 16:24 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Keep a prayer journal. If you write down your requests, it will help you remember whom to pray for and their specific needs. It is very important to pray for others and not just ourselves and our family.

2. Jesus was busy, but never too hurried to wait on the Father’s timing. Frequently, we get caught in traffic on the interstate, and we use our GPS to navigate around that traffic. Our philosophy is that we would rather be moving than sitting in traffic even if it is not a shorter route. That is not God’s philosophy concerning our lives. Activity is no substitute for spirituality. Wait on God, and He will give you peace about your indecisive situation. Too often, we act thinking that we must “do it now,” and we miss God’s blessing due to being in a rush for an answer.

3. Jesus was busy, but never too hurried for sinners. If you are like our family, you shop at certain stores every week. We hurriedly rush in, get what we need, stand in a checkout line longer than we had planned, get on our cell phone and try to explain why we will be late to the person that is waiting on us, and we forget that we are to reach the people that God has put in our path.

The quote goes, “Others, Lord, yes others, let this my motto be. Let me live for others that I may live like Thee.” Depend on the Holy Spirit for leadership and guidance in your everyday life. Share your personal testimony with others. Let’s not be ashamed to talk and walk our Christianity.

4. Jesus was busy, but never too hurried for children (Mark 10:13-16). We desire to have children, and then we rush through their lives leaving them without proper parenting. We wouldn’t admit it, but we are so busy that we don’t even have time for the precious treasure that the Lord has so richly blessed us with. Do everything possible to prevent your family from feeling the hurriedness that comes with your busy life.

Has the “Joy Thief” visited you lately? Let’s all use preventive measures to keep him from entering our lives! “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart (where?), down in my heart to stay!”

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