The following is from one of my Daily Devotionals, Experiencing God Day-By-Day. It is a great reminder of how we let others influence how we feel and how we react. I have heard the saying and I have said it to others “Don’t let someone or some circumstance steal your joy”. It is easier said than done if we don’t remember where our joy comes from.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:26
Your joy as a Christian should not depend on your circumstances. Joy comes from God, and therefore it cannot be affected by what is outside of you. Don’t be fooled by letting the actions of others determine your joy. True joy comes from knowing that God Himself lives within you and has fellowship with you, regardless of your environment. Real joy lies in the knowledge that holy God has completely forgiven you of every sin, and even now, He has a home prepared in heaven where you can spend eternity with Him (John 14:3). The circumstance of your life cannot change these truths!
Paul and Silas faced some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. They were falsely accused, arrested, and imprisoned. They were beaten and shackled in the darkest, coldest section of the prison. But they refused to allow their horrific situation to dampen their joy! They did not blame God for allowing these things to happen to them. Instead they praised Him for His goodness! In the darkness of the night, they prayed and they sang. God brought a miracle that released them from their chains, but perhaps the greater miracle was that His Holy Spirit could so fill them that even in their painful imprisonment they could overflow with joy!
Do not allow difficult events to cancel the joy of knowing you are a child of God. Choose to allow God’s Spirit to fill you with His unquenchable joy, and your life will be a miracle to those who watch you face the trials that come.
Today’s devotional was a great reminder for me to simply focus on the joy I have in being a child of God.