Psalm 16:11. “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right hand are pleasures forever.”
What do you see as a key here for those of us who know Christ?
How often do we take advantage of the ability to have the fullness of joy? How many believers do you know that live in disappointment and despair that could and should be living in the blessing of joy?
Let us take now just a few minutes and talk about what robs us of the joy that we should have in life but before we do just think again about this: Paul is in prison as he writes Philippians and nineteen times he talks about joy in it. If someone should have had their joy robbed, it should have been Paul. You have a man who is looking at possibly being beheaded. Paul is not only facing that but he is facing the disappointment of wanting to go to Rome to preach the gospel (Romans 1:13-16) and not being able to do that. Also he is chained to a Roman soldier while being on house arrest (Acts 28:30-31). In all this Paul overflowed with joy and his joy was not robbed from him.
What are the things in life that rob us from our joy?
1. Circumstances – When we have things going our way we feel much better but have you ever stopped to think about how little control we really have in life? We have no control over the weather because if we did, those of you who farm would have had some rain come in the last week or so. We have no control over the car in front of us, whether is goes slow or fast. We have no control over what other people say or do. If your life is only joyful when you are living in ideal circumstances, then you are going to be miserable most of the time.
2. People – All of us have lost of joy because of people at one point in time or another. Because of what people are, what people are not, what they say, what they do not say, what they do and what they do not do. We for sure have all robbed people of joy because of one of these areas. We can not isolate ourselves completely from people and glorify Christ because if there are people around, we are to be sharing in life with them. We are to be salt and light to the world around us. People will be one of the greatest sources of joy and they will be one of the things rob it, if you let them.
3. Things – Abraham Lincoln was walking down the street with his two sons who were fighting and crying. A man walked up and asked “What is the matter with the boys?” “The same thing that is wrong with the whole world”, Lincoln replied, “I have three Walnuts and each of the boys want two!” Things are a big robber of our joy. Look with me at Luke 12:15, And he said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Most people today think that things are what will bring them joy but the pursuit of them are one of the things that rob us of joy.
4. Worry – This is probably the one that I have seen rob more people than any of the others. It not only robs people of their joy but also creates physical problems. Worry has terrible and damaging effects on the body. It effects the stomach with terrible problems, headaches as well as other physical symptoms. Worry is one of those things that just zaps anything positive and steals away any joy that is going on. If anyone had a reason to worry it was Paul, but instead of telling people to worry he tells them to have joy and to not worry.
So these are the four things that come to rob and steal away our joy. So then let me ask you these two questions:
1. Which one of these do allow to rob you of Joy?
2. Is there another area that you find also robs you of Joy that I have not mentioned?