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Saturday, January 15, 2005

A smile is poison to the enemy.


"Don't let anything or anyone steal your joy." Now, that's quite a statement! And yet in Christ we have the power to do just that.

And it's important: for joy is what gives us strength. Joy allows us to persevere. Joy promotes health. Joy is the energy of miracles.

Haven't you found that little things can ruin your day? That's because we let them. We become "engaged" with the negative. We make a mountain out of a mole hill. Someone is rude to you. You can't find your keys. You can't locate the remote control. The baby spills soda on a newly cleaned rug.

These are all causes for crisis in modern times, even though, when we view them realistically, they are events that are meaningless. Don't let such matters rob your joy! One test of life is whether we can rise above the storm clouds.

Are such matters really worth losing our joy over? Should we let minor glitches ruin our day? The answer is no and the admonishment is: don't let the negative engage you. Don't let it lure you in! Don't see more evil than there is. It wants you to focus on it. As soon as something like that happens, root out any negative feelings.

Go into prayer. Don't let it disturb you. Get back to feeling good. Instead of getting "bent out of shape," stop your negative feelings and don't let them burrow in. Prevent them from taking root.

When they do take root, they become magnified out of all proportion. This is a spiritual law: the more we focus on a negative, the larger it grows. Don't make more evil out of a situation than there is. This is the enemy's trick: he always tries to appear larger than he really is. He looms as a titanic force. With joy we reduce him to size -- which is infinitely smaller than Jesus!

A smile is poison to the enemy. He is the author of pessimism, discouragement, and oppression. Instead of love, he gives us lust. Instead of true happiness, he provides thrills.

On the other hand, we know something is of God when it brings true joy. This is a good test of discernment! When we are made to feel joy, it is from the Holy Spirit. It strengthens. It wipes away our fatigue. It even heals. How does joy defeat evil? By shedding Light. Joy comes from love, and God is both love and Light -- so joy defeats all darkness.

When we are joyful, when we allow love to flow through us, we're allowing the power of God to flow through us -- and the result is happiness.

Now, this is not to say we play Pollyanna and ignore evil. Not at all! We are to expose it to the Light. But we should never succumb to it. We should not give evil more credit than it deserves. Earth will never be Heaven. We will never find paradise here. Once we realize that, we transcend it!

?Many Christians misinterpret Jesus? promise of the ?abundant life? to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of your dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer," notes the author, Rick Warren. "In a word, they expect the Christian life to be easy. They expect Heaven on earth. This self-absorbed perspective treats God as a genie who simply exists to serve you and your selfish pursuit of personal fulfillment. But God is not your servant, and if you fall for the idea that life is supposed to be easy, either you will become severely disillusioned or you will live in denial of reality.?

Instead, accept life for what it is -- a wondrous preparation for Heaven -- and find joy where joy is, which is just about everywhere, if we look hard enough. Find joy and focus on that. Find joy and you have a taste of eternity.

The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity. ~ Arthur J. Balfour




1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Thanks for sharing what interests you. No matter where different interests lead, in the end a consequential lifestyle requires gratitude and mindfulness. I take this approach at


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