Jesus said, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’
– John 10:10
Trouble comes in waves, hitting you when you least expect it.
The dog gets sick, the transmission falls out of the car, an unexpected doctor bill comes due, and a dear friend posts a nasty Facebook comment about you –sometimes all in the space of a day. A series of traumatic events threaten to drive you over the edge. Sometimes, it’s the constant drip of small annoyances piled upon a mountain of duty that pushes you toward a meltdown.
In the shadows of the mayhem descending upon you on any given day, a thief lurks at your door. If you live in a city, this may literally be true. But the thief I’m talking about is an unseen enemy, and the window he’s trying to break is the one that opens into your soul.
What is he looking for? He wants to steal your joy.
If you are a believer, Satan has already lost you to eternity. You are written in the Lamb’s book of life and sealed with the Holy Spirit forever. The enemy can’t take your soul. He is a created being under judgment. His goal now is to hurt God by inflicting as much damage as possible in the time he has left and to keep as many people as possible from salvation.
Satan hates anything or anyone that reflects the image of God.
He plots and plans with his minions to harass and hurt the whole of creation, and to torment believers specifically.
Like most dwellings, our faith-house, this temple of God, is less secure in some places than in others, because we still dwell in mortal bodies subject to temptation. We all have weaknesses the enemy exploits to gain access to our emotions and derail our walk with God. Our adversary prowls around looking for any weak areas in our faith. For some, illness is our challenge. Others break down under the stress of financial problems. Every one of us has a window or a door that groans against the lock.
Beloved, Christ wants more for us than to exist in pieces, torn by constant crisis.
The key to victory in our lives is not to rid ourselves of trials. It’s remembering when hardship hits, it’s just Satan rattling a doorknob. If we can separate ourselves from the emotion of the moment, we can learn the proper response to the threat by leaning onto God.
Ultimately, everything that happens to believers is God’s tool to strengthen our faith and purify our motives. We are promised in God’s Word if we resist Satan, he will flee like an intruder caught in beam of the watchman’s light.
So stand firm. Stay alert and keep the door of your heart locked against the night. Do not crumble when the doorknob rattles. Guard your joy.