I know many of us have days when we feel ALL of our joy is depleted.
We have fought certain battles for so long that we are drained of our resources to continue fighting and our joy has been depleted.
Or so, this fiery dart would have us believe.
In my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, I write about the element of truth contained within certain fiery darts which will seem to validate the thought and cause us to embrace it. For you see after fighting certain battles in our lives for a lengthy amount of time, we simply wear out. Now, if we aren’t knowledgeable about fiery darts we will start to believe that we can go no further. And on a certain level that may be true, for our emotions play a BIG part in defining how we feel. Joy is an emotion that is virtually nonexistent at times like these!
How do you think you would feel if you were the writer of the following?
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,…Habakkuk 3:17 (ESV)
Pretty sad, I’m sure. It would be no small task for any of us to have joy in the midst of such discouraging circumstances. For these stark realities would certainly trump any hint of joy that might try to find lodging in our brain.
Yet read the follow-up to these verses:
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
Hab 3:18-19 (ESV)
How do you suppose the writer of these verses could face such lean times and still rejoice? If you read the verses closely, you’ll notice that the source of the writer’s joy was in the Lord and the God of his salvation. God, the Lord, was his strength. Is that source ever depleted? Of course not. That’s why Philippines 4:4 says to
“Rejoice in the Lord always…”
THAT SOURCE OF JOY IS NEVER DEPLETED!
Now, let me show you what’s behind the fiery dart mentioned earlier.
Keep the thinker focused on the fd.
The more negative their thoughts, the more negative their emotions.
The more negative they become the less motivation they will have to read God’s Word.
The less they are influenced by God’s Word, the more they are influenced by the world’s way of thinking.
The more they are influenced by the world’s way of thinking, the more hopeless they will become.
Until soon they will reach a point where they will begin to believe a lie!
AND HERE’S THE TRUTH THE FIERY DART IS HIDING FROM THEM:
The joy we have in the Lord is always abundant.
Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow. —Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
If everything else changes, yet the Lord does not change; if the sources of all other joy are dried up, yet this (source of joy) is not. http://biblecommenter.com/philippians/4-4.htm
So, even though the source of joy in a particular aspect of our lives may be all dried up, our source of joy in our Lord outweighs all that. We have joy in the Lord, we NEED no other joy to live a joyful life!
(Therefore, we don’t need to allow ourselves to face life from the dried up area where there is no joy. However, the fiery dart will attempt to pull our focus to that area every time.)
This then is what we should pray:
Help me Lord, to cooperate with you to keep my focus on the abundance
of joy I have in You, and face my problems from that perspective of abundance.
Stand fast, my friends
I recognize that verse as the inspiration for William Cowper’s poem “Sometimes a Light Surprises.” Cowper struggled with deep depression and fearing that he wasn’t saved. Satan tormented him with terrible dreams of being taken away to Hell. But as his poetry demonstrates, he managed to persevere nonetheless!
Which verse did you mean, for in my post I had several. Interesting facts about Cowper. Whew, talk about being attacked by fiery darts!
Habakkuk 3:17. Compare it with Cowper’s poem:
Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit should bear
Though all the fields should wither
Nor flocks nor herds be there
Yet God the same abiding
His praise shall tune my voice
For while in Him confiding
I cannot but rejoice!