Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, are you spiritually exhausted, worn, and weary like I am? Guess what, the enemy is laughing at us…
“The devil is at church as often as you are. And he stands outside your closet door and listens to what you say to God in secret, all the while studying how he may accuse you…
“When you have done your best, then this persuasive critic goes to work, ‘There,’ he will say, ‘you played the hypocrite–appearing noble, but really serving self. Here you wandered; there, you were lazy; farther along, puffed up with pride. What reward can you hope for at God’s hands, now that you have spoiled His work?’ Such constant nitpicking makes many poor souls lead a weary life. Are you one of these–spiritually exhausted? Does he snipe at everything you do until you know not whether to pray or not, to listen or not?…Thus your soul hangs in doubt, and your days pass in sorrow, while your enemy stands in a corner and laughs at the trick he has played upon you. It is his master plan that if he cannot rob you of your righteousness, he will deprive you of your joy.
“He comes to fetch you away from the green pastures of covenant comfort and drag you into the depths of despair…” – William Gurnall
If he cannot rob you of your righteousness, he will deprive you of your joy.
He comes to fetch you away from the green pastures of covenant comfort and drag you into the depths of despair. (This reminds me of the “Pit of Despair” in the movie The Princess Bride, yikes!)
It looks like it’s time for me to go back to the bedrock truths of God’s Word and rest in His promises!
JOY! Jesus promised us His joy. So why allow Satan to rob us of it?
” ‘These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ “~ John 15:11
” ‘Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.’ ” ~ John 16:22-24
” ‘But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.’ ” ~ John 17:13 (Jesus even prayed to God the Father on our behalf, that we might have His joy fulfilled in us! The Greek word used here for “fulfilled” is plēroo, meaning “make complete, fill to the top, abound”. We should be abounding with Jesus’ JOY!)
“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” ~ Acts 13:52
Hmmm, filled with joy AND the Holy Spirit, a package deal–which brings us the fruit of the Spirit!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23
PEACE! What is more peaceful than the green pastures of covenant comfort?
“A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” ~ Psalm 23 (Oh, how I need to remember to rest with God like this! What a gift!)
Jesus promised us His peace.
” ‘Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ ” ~ John 14:27
” ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ ” ~ John 16:33
Jesus has overcome the world! AND the ruler of this world, Satan. We have no reason to fear, or doubt, or be weary and sorrowful.
Take heart, brothers and sisters: we have joy, peace, and the power of the Holy Spirit! Let’s replace the lies of Satan in our world with the TRUTH of Jesus and God’s Word.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” ~ John 14:6
May we rest in Your promises today, Lord God. Refresh our spirits with your JOY and PEACE! 🙂