Do you ever come across people or a particular person who continually seems to bring you down? Is it hard to go to work some days knowing your happiness might go down the tubes? Are you having a great day when you first wake up, and then while driving to work, someone cuts you off in traffic, or do you come home to a mess after a long day that someone else made and should have cleaned up?
Well, let me tell you a story about JOY. My friend and I have issues like everybody else, and I told her we needed to start carrying our JOY in our back pockets. By carrying our JOY in our back pockets, we have to make an honest effort not to let anyone steal our JOY. Now, that is a tricky thing. Let's face it, for every kind person, unfortunately, 5 mean, hateful people really want to steal your JOY. I would look in my back pocket at the end of the workday; sometimes, my JOY was there, and sometimes, it was just OY. And I started thinking that when your JOY becomes just Y, thoughts begin rolling around in your mind, such as, WHY am I here and WHY am I doing this? It frustrates me at times and makes me mad because I realize the devil is winning. What right does he have to steal my JOY?
My new thing is that I am not letting the devil win. Is it going to be a struggle? Well, YES! He really tries to make life miserable. Doesn't he do that to you sometimes? So, we need to take control of the issues. Use the ten-second rule of waiting ten whole seconds before you answer anyone (which can seem like a lifetime in an upsetting situation). Allow your emotions to calm down. Make certain that what is coming out of your mouth is what God wants you to say. Guard your JOY.
At the end of your day, be proud that you have come home with JOY in your pocket (and in your heart). Remember, although you are gonna have those days where you end up with just OY or Y, God is with you through it all. HE loves us, and he is Y we are all here.
Take the J.O.Y of life with you this morning. It's easy to remember: Jesus first, Others second, and You last! Don’t let the devil steal your joy! I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay!
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
Merry Christmas, everyone!