One would think that getting married would end up being an extremely joyful event. So why did I constantly feel pressured and down during the weeks leading up to the wedding? I am a worry-wart and so I found myself getting caught on the smallest things: issues with not being able to get everything done before leaving, the annoyance of the transmission on our borrowed van seeming to be going, the fact that it snowed 18 inches in April a week before the wedding, and on and on. It was so easy to look at the bad things and not see the good ones.
That’s when I remembered something my mother said to me: “Don’t let the Devil steal your joy!” There’s a lot of wisdom in that. Nehemiah tells the Israelites, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh 8:10 – NIV) We are called to count our troubles all joy (James 1:2-3). Paul exhorts the Philippians to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 – NASB) There is power in rejoicing and so the Devil will go straight for that power by trying to make us look down at our muddy boots rather than at the glorious mountains we’re heading towards. So, let us cling to joy, tenaciously. We won’t always feel it, but “rejoicing” is not an adjective. It is a verb a do-word. So, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” And don’t let the Devil steal your joy!
“The Enemy’s powers are far less than we imagine. The Evil One cannot overwhelm us by force. Indeed he can use only the weapons we give him.” – Stephen Lawhead in Grail.