Dealing with Joy Robbers

Dealing with Joy Robbers

The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 4:7

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul addressed how to deal with what Warren Wiersbe called “joy robbers.” For example, one thing that can steal our joy is circumstances. In Philippians 1, Paul showed how to maintain joy in spite of your circumstances.

In chapter 2, Paul dealt with another joy robber–people. Do you have people in your life that just seeing them saps the joy out of you? You know what I’m talking about. What is the key to keeping people from robbing your joy? It’s to change your attitude toward them, Paul said. Instead of seeing people as objects to use, see people as objects to serve. He said in Philippians 2:4, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

In chapter 3, Paul dealt with another joy robber–things. Having things, or not having things, can rob you of joy. Warren Wiersbe told the story of a wealthy man who was moving into his home. He hauled in a lot of electronic equipment, art, and furniture. His Quaker neighbor, who believed in simplicity, was watching all of this. Finally, after the man had hauled all his stuff in, the Quaker came to him and said, “Friend, if thouest ever in need of anything, let me know and I will show thee how to get along without it.” Sometimes we need help in learning how to get along without certain things. And Paul said in Philippians 3:20, the key to that is to remember our citizenship: “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In chapter 4, Paul dealt with perhaps the greatest joy robber of all–worry. Have you ever been having a great day when all of a sudden, this alien thought enters your mind from nowhere: “What if?” What if the doctor . . . ? What if my mate . . . ? What if my employer . . . ? What if the stock market . . . ? Suddenly you are paralyzed by fear. That’s what worry does. In fact, the word “worry” comes from a word that means “to strangle.” Worry has a way of strangling the joy out of life. What is the antidote to worry? Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Are you tired of being the victim of negative circumstances, people, things, or worry? Are you ready to start experiencing the peace and joy that Jesus Christ died to provide you? If so, I encourage you to apply these truths about living above your circumstances.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living above Your Circumstances” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.

Warren Wiersbe, “Be Joyful (Philippians)” (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2008), 20.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.