By Sandy Jones
Turning on the television one Sunday morning, there was Dr. Charles Stanley asking, “Have you lost your joy?”
Having once again pushed too hard, for too long, I was exhausted and honestly had not been good about binding out the enemy’s attacks.
I would say “not today satan, not today,” kicking him out the back door, then it was as if I’d run to the front door and invite him back in.
Dr. Stanley went on to say that if you’ve lost your joy you may be revisiting old regrets.
Bingo! Just like past, confessed sin, the enemy loves to beat me down with regrets of things I cannot change no matter how hard I have tried over time.
Dr. Stanley went on to boldly suggest that I might even be suffering from the fear of failure.
What? Who me? Guilty as charged! I don’t want to let anyone down; not God; not my family; not our readers; not anyone.
As Pastor Paul Shepherd would say – I had been having a good ol’ pity party. I love his perspective on this and invite you to read his column No Room For Stinkin’ Thinkin’ in this issue.
Why am I sharing this? Because I don’t think I’m alone in this pattern, and right now as our world seems to be changing at head-spinning speed, I think it’s easier to let the enemy distract us from what is really important: things of eternal significance.
Once again I find myself vowing to do better. Get more rest. Stop procrastinating, and most importantly keep my eyes fixed firmly on Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Reminding myself that it’s never too late to start over…. again.
Sometimes I have to give myself permission to be human; have faults; and find my way back. Today, like every day, is Day One.
When I was the sales manager of a local outside sales team, I would tell our sales people to look themselves in the eye in the mirror each morning as they were preparing for the day, and to say something nice to themselves. After all, if we don’t speak kindly to ourselves, who will? Perhaps I need to slow down a bit, and take my own advice.
Why is this important, one might ask. If I don’t bind out the enemy and work to see myself how God sees me, that leaves me wide open for the enemy to constantly remind me of just how unworthy I am.
Too often we put more emphasis on what other human beings think of us, than taking the time to remember how God sees and thinks of us. It’s as simple as John 3:16-17 KJV:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
And is reaffirmed in 2 Peter 3:9 KJV:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
So often I have to remind myself that He promises His mercies are new every, single morning. Every. Single. Day.
So dear Reader – if you’ve found that today, or any day, you’ve lost your joy, please take solace in that you are not alone, and that although I may not know your name, or your circumstances, I’m here praying for you. God knows your name and your situation; He loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son for you.
On another note – I’d like to add just how excited I am for Greg Laurie’s Boise Harvest event at the Extra Mile Arena on Saturday, April 23rd. Yes, all the worship music will be wonderful, but I am most eager to see how many of you bring your friends to hear about God’s redeeming love, and how Jesus came for them too. What a fantastic way to celebrate the end of the Easter season – first we celebrate Christ’s victorious entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; we grieve through His capture and ultimate crucifixion, then we rejoice in His resurrection – I can’t think of a better “frosting on the cake” moment than to share the joy and freedom found in His Salvation with those who don’t already know Him.
Until next time…
Over the course of the past few months I have had the pleasure of hearing from several of you. Your notes of encouragement mean so much to our entire team. I have also been truly touched when hearing from our advertisers how many of you have shopped them, and thanked them for supporting this ministry. If that was you – a big Thank You! And as I often ask – please frequent our advertisers, and thank them for their support – without them we couldn’t bring the hope and promise of God’s love found in the pages of each and every issue of Christian Living Magazine.