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The Hope of Righteousness Brings Joy
3/3/2016

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10 (NKJV)

There are those who feel as though God is some sort of cosmic killjoy—thinking because they have given their life to Jesus, they can no longer have a joyful life.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, we are told the fruit of the spirit is Joy, which is from God (Gal. 5:22). Jesus said He came that we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly, and that the thief (Satan) is the one who comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10).

The problem as I see it, is that we have been deceived with respect to where we can find true joy.  The enemy continually tempts us to believe we can find a true lasting joy in the sinful things of this world, but this is not true.  God opposes this type of lifestyle because He loves us, and He knows how destructive sin is, including the theft of our true joy from having an abiding relationship with Jesus. 

Satan would love for us to become bitter about living a life honoring to God. If he can deceive us into thinking we are somehow missing out on all the pleasures others are enjoying, then we will become bitter towards God, and just plain bitter in general.  This is why it is so important to know our Scripture and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 

If we don’t identify Satan’s lies for what they are, then the seeds of bitterness will eventually work their way into the crevices of our mind. And when they are fed by the steady watering of self-pity, they will sprout-forth deep taproots of resentment and anger.  Eventually, they will produce the fruit of backbiting, divisiveness, or a heart to simply check out from fellowshipping with other believers. 

We are told, “The hope of the righteous brings joy,” (Prov. 10:28), and for good reason—we have been given much, and there is unfathomable blessings awaiting us in eternity.  C.S. Lewis rightly said, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 10:10, who is the one who tries to steal our joy?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5), and choose only to think upon things God has commanded us to think upon (Phil. 4:8)?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Look at the big picture of eternity and upon all the things God has given you—both present and eternal.  Choose to embrace the joy you have been given as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and make a covenant with your eyes to abstain from lusting for the things of this world.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for the amazing gift of joy. I ask forgiveness for those times where I have taken my eyes off of what I have been given and have put them on the things that I do not have.  Help me to see the enemy's temptations through the truth of Your word, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Your Son Jesus. I ask this in His precious name, amen..

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000