"So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."
Who steals our joy? We in fact steal our own joy. We as Christians know and believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again for our sins so that we may spend eternity with Him in Heaven. We know who God is and that He is for us and with us always. We know how great the depth and height of His love is for us. All of these things are reason alone for us to be full of joy at all times and thanking Him for all He has done for us in our lives but sometimes, life can make that difficult. Circumstances come into our life that cause us hurt and pain and so we tend to focus on those things instead of the radiance of Christ, the One who saved us. Sometimes, we get too busy in our day to day living that we forget who He is and can't even find time to praise Him even for a minute. Moreover, of course, there is the sin that we each commit daily whatever that may be. All of these things get in the way of being able to experience the fullness of joy by the Holy Spirit.
Many like to think that Satan is the one who takes our joy, that he can rob us of it. This is not my belief. I believe that once we have the seal of the Spirit upon us, Satan cannot touch the spiritual things given to us by God. I do however believe that our various acts of sin are what cause us to lose our joy and I believe that Satan is the one who leads our minds to the places that then lead us into sin. Sin entails many things and Galatians does a good job of spelling them all out for us.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I think each one of us can admit to recognizing one if not more of those sins listed above in our lives. Satan is the tempter and he comes to steal, kill and destroy, but we ultimately make the decision as to whether or not we will succumb to his temptations. We, because of human nature and selfish attitudes decide if we will choose the path of sin and turn from God and towards ourselves. When this happens, we are giving away our joy.
How sad that we can forfeit the joy that God has for us by focusing on ungodly things. We need to claim Philippians 4:8 and think on things that are true, think on God's word and not what "the world"/Satan is whispering in our ear. We have the incredible opportunity to walk in joy always by abiding in Christ but that can only happen when our minds are focused and set on Him. His word says that we should, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10. This is not just a suggestion but a command from the One who brings us joy and loves us enough that He wants us to experience the never-ending flow of it.
What robs you of your joy? Do you find yourself sad, angry, depressed or just too busy to love or serve others? These are just some of the things that can take away our joy because we have become focused on ourselves and not the One, who saved us, forgave us and gave His life for us. He should be our reason for living, the reason that we get out of bed in the morning. He should be the reason why we do EVERYTHING that we do. If we do anything for any other reason, then it is very likely they we will lose our joy. He is our reason to live and He alone should be our EVERYTHING. If our hearts, minds and souls love Him above all else and our eyes are focused on Him, then we will know His joy, a joy that will never fade.
"Father, I thank you for all You've done in my life. I praise You for Your mercy and grace and that You loved me enough to die for the sins in my life. May I not become so focused on myself that I lose focus of you and forfeit the joy that You have given to me. I pray that my mind and eyes stay upon You at all times and that I not become distracted by this world and the things is it."