Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Joy Robbers


Last week, I wrote about joy robbers—people or situations that threaten our joy. I thought I was finished thinking about it, but a couple of days later, I realized joy robbers are not new. 

Jesus was surrounded by joy robbers.

The Pharisees

They were constantly trying to test Jesus and trap Him in His answers. When that didn't work, they plotted against Him.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake. Mark 8:11-13 NLT

Jesus didn't worry about what they said; He knew the Truth. He knew they would never believe, no matter what He said or showed them. The Pharisees’ verbal attacks never caused Jesus to doubt or question who He was or why He had come.

Jesus stayed focused on God.

Jesus knew His Father intimately, and He was constantly connected with God. 

Where is our focus when criticism and nasty comments come our way?

As hard as it is not to listen and wonder if they’re right, the Truth of who we are is found in God. That is where our focus needs to be to keep the joy robbers from getting to us.

Demands and Expectations

Crowds followed Jesus all the time. How draining must that have been?
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Mark 6:30-34 NLT

We know from experience that when our time and energy are drained, our joy can slip away from us.

Jesus gave His all. He gave His full attention to everyone He met and talked with, but He also took time to rest (or at least He tried to.)

With all of the demands on our time, and expectations people have of us, how often do we push ourselves for too long without making time to rest? 

Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. {Tweet this}

Human Emotions

Jesus even experienced the joy robbers of emotions. During His time on earth, Jesus knew anger and sorrow. He knew grief.
When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. John 11:33-35 AMP

Jesus didn’t dwell in His human emotions. He turned again to God.
So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” John 11:41-42 NLT
Jesus was in constant communication with God. We can be too. {Tweet this}
                       
What if we determined to follow Jesus’ example? To talk to God right away, before our emotions get the better of us. To pour out our hearts, to ask Him for wisdom and direction, and to praise and thank Him.

Joy robbers change our focus. They take our eyes off of God and direct our focus to ourselves. We worry about what someone else thinks or says, how we feel, or the fact that nothing seems to be going our way.

Joy robbers threaten to take away our joy, but we don’t have to let them succeed. We can choose joy by keeping our focus on God. By remembering who He is and who He says we are in Him. {Tweet this}

*****
Thank you for joining us for the study of the book Fulfilled by Danise Jurado. Thoughts? Please feel free to share in the comments.

In Christ,
Laura 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your insights on how to combat those things that steel our joy. I appreciated what you said about how joy robbers redirect our focus and all the Scripture verses you showed us and the examples of Jesus on how to focus on what is True, Jesus Christ and who we are in Him.

    Thanks for such an edifying post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really nicely written. It is so hard sometimes to keep our focus on the important, and we let the joy robbers sneak in and take our joy away. That will be my prayer : to stay focused on Him and talk with Him. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!