Steal Your Joy

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” —1 Peter 5:8-9

It’s only the second post and we’re already finding it hard to share something. We’re still working on our process with the blog. Mia suggested a topic and I figured it would be easy. The topic of the devil trying to attack us and failing would be something that I could write about without even thinking. There are so many times in my life when I saw God work: I saw Him succeed and I saw the devil fail. Instead of a devotion, today I want to share with you my testimony.

A few years back, I had a falling out with God. I was angry with Him. The things that I enjoyed, things that I took pride in was taken away. He took it all away. I was in seminary school, sophomore year, when I decided I knew better than God. I thought I knew what was good for me, what my plans were and my future agenda was. I told myself that I knew what I was doing. I’m in seminary school, I’m sure God would back me up in anything that I do, especially with a selfish understanding of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” That was when I took advantage of God. Satan was prowling and waiting to make his move. He attacked me when I thought I was unbreakable.

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” —Proverbs 16:18

Steal Your Joy - webIt says in 1 Peter 5:8 that “the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion…” Did you catch what Peter is trying to say? It says in Revelation 5:5 that Jesus Christ is the Lion of Judah. But Peter clearly states in verse 8 that Satan is like a lion, not the Lion. Have you ever seen a McDonald’s commercial? In those 30-second clips, I see this perfectly put together Big Mac with the right amount of lettuce, pickles, onions and Mac sauce, lightly salted golden brown fries and a thirst-quenching  pop to wash it all down.  So I would go to McDonald’s and get my usual order, and it grieves me every time to see that my Big Mac combo doesn’t even resemble anything that I saw in their commercials. I’ve been duped, conned if I must say. And that’s what happens when Satan is walking around like a lion. He is a trickster, a thief and liar who will do anything to bring us down and destroy us. We need to “be careful, then, how we live – not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:5), so that we will not be deceived. Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came so that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I was angry with God for almost a year, when all along it was my fault. I wasn’t aware, nor was I alert. My mind was not clear because it was intoxicated with my worldly success. That’s when the devil came right in to steal and purge my joy. I became depressed, angry and unforgiving. There was one night that I couldn’t sleep; I just had this ball of anger in my chest. I walked into my parents’ room around 3 am while they were sleeping, and I just cried.I sat in between them and let it all out. I told them what I was going through. I told them how foolish I was and that I was angry with God for allowing those things to happen to me. My parents (God bless them) just took me and comforted me. They said that what I was feeling was not out of the ordinary, that I needed to pray. I told them that I hadn’t prayed in a very long time, because I wanted nothing to do with God. Why would I want to talk to someone I was angry with? That’s when my dad, smart man that he is, said that I was not the only person in the whole world who experienced this. He mentioned a man named Saul, who hated anything that had to do with Christ and His love, had turned around and became one of the best apostles who ever lived. I asked why would God want anything to do with me. The devil had corrupted and made me dirty. And I remember something I’ll never forget, while my mom was hugging me, she said “There’s nothing you can ever do to make Him love you less. Nothing.” My heart broke. My dad kept telling me to stand firm in my faith, stand firm in God’s love, and let His grace cover me.

That night was one of the nights I won’t forget. For a year, I let the devil destroy me. I let his anger grow in my heart and I let him steal the joy that God has given me. In a single night, by God’s grace, He made me new.

May you, all who are suffering, may you stand firm in your faith. May you find favour in God’s eyes and humble yourself, give in to His perfect will. Find joy in His love and grace.

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