Tag Archives: enemy

Tamper Resistent Joy

Tamper Resistant Joy

By Carolyn Dale Newell

…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV

Imprisoned and chained to a guard, Paul wrote several of his epistles, including the “joy epistle” of Philippians. How could Paul rejoice when he could no longer plant churches and preach the gospel as he did on his missionary journeys?

Paul believed God’s promise in our focal verse: the joy of the Lord is our strength. Paul lived Christ

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)

In the original Greek text, the verb “is” is absent. So, Paul lived Christ. Paul’s enemies had meant this for evil, but God had meant it for good. Paul recognized that, and he rejoiced.

The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. Nothing would please him better than to see grimacing Christians. He has no authority over God’s children. When Satan cannot deceive us into temptation, one of his plots involves zapping our joy. Sadly, we allow him.

That’s right. We fall for his trickery, and the devil knows better than most Christians that the joy of the Lord is our strength. He steals our joy and leaves us weak.

But we are not without hope. We can turn our faces toward the Son and away from our circumstances. Away from the depression, the loneliness, the pain, anxieties, the season we find ourselves in. We don’t find joy in those situations, but when we face Jesus, we see joy, for Jesus is joy.

We live in a topsy-turvy world, and sometimes life must get more confusing to get us right side up. We allow circumstances to dictate our emotional thermometers rather than trusting our sovereign Lord. Sweet friend, we are measuring the wrong thing (topsy-turvy). God allows things, painful things, into our lives to turn us right side up.

We can get our joy back when we live Christ as Paul did. When we commit to praise God no matter what, we will find strength through joy. When we can look at our messy lives and know Jesus loves us. When we look through joy colored glasses, we are made strong.

Christmas can either be depressing or joyful. In order to have a tamper-resistant joyful Christmas, look to the Baby in the manger. He is now our King and has been granted authority over all things. Joy doesn’t erase the hurt, but It delivers strength to cope with it. Joy isn’t found in friends, family, or feasting. Not genuine joy. That joy exists only in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, help us turn our faces toward Jesus this season. Easier said than done, but with You all things are possible. Thank You for the joy You will bring many who would be sad and alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 1: 12-26.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is one attitude you can adopt this Christmas season to see joy amidst your situation? How can you help someone else who struggles at this time of the year?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Has Your Idenity Been Stolen

HAS YOUR IDENITY BEEN STOLEN

By Carolyn Dale Newell

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Ephesians 1:4 NKJV

Who are you? If your answer is related to your position or your possessions, it is incorrect. If it is connected to your accomplishments, appearance, kids, or career, it is wrong. Who I am is defined by the I AM.

In Ephesians chapter one, we read that we were made accepted in the beloved. Our focus verse shows God chose us because He loved us. Therefore, we are the accepted, beloved, and chosen daughters of the King.

I recently discovered I had an acceptance issue. God woke me up one night and took me back to my childhood. My parents were the greatest, but not outwardly affectionate. As a visually impaired kid in school, kids teased me dreadfully. High school brought few friends but no dates.

At age seventeen, I found acceptance with the party crowd. That is who I identified with. After marriage, a child, and a divorce, I walked away from the party life. Even though I did not know God then, I credit Him for removing me from that mess.

 

When God saved me, I never identified myself as being accepted by Him. Truthfully, most of us cannot grasp God’s acceptance and love. We don’t understand it. We take it for granted. We doubt it.

It isn’t that our identity has really been stolen, but most of us never had it to begin with. Symptoms of a stolen identity appear as we derive our happiness from other sources than God. Things like food, clothes, money, homes, and careers. We do that when we don’t realize we are not genuinely craving our pleasure. We are craving God. That is why the satisfaction is short lived. Only God can satisfy those longings. Not chocolate. Not big bank accounts. Not a new wardrobe. Not pizza. Not a title.

And that is exactly where our enemy, Satan, wants us to be. When he can deceive us into not feeling like the accepted, beloved, and chosen daughter of God, he has stolen our power and authority.

Our feelings, like our enemy lie. Who I am is not defined by my feelings. Who I am is defined by the I AM.

Our identity isn’t found in our cabinets or closets. It is found in Jesus Christ.

 

Now that we know the truth, we can walk with our heads held high. We will no longer feel insecure. We will no longer be enslaved to the number on the scales or the number on our bank accounts. We are royalty. Now, we can answer the question correctly. look into a mirror. Who are you? “I am the accepted, beloved, and chosen daughter of the King.”

Heavenly Father, Thank You for making me acceptable and choosing to love me. Help me defeat the enemy by walking in my true identity in Christ. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Ephesians 1:3-14.

HIKING THE TRAIL

When feelings of worthlessness arise, read God’s love letter to you. Spend time with the truth of Jesus Christ, not the lies of hell.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

HAS YOUR IDENITY BEEN STOLEN

By Carolyn Dale Newell

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Ephesians 1:4 NKJV

Who are you? If your answer is related to your position or your possessions, it is incorrect. If it is connected to your accomplishments, appearance, kids, or career, it is wrong. Who I am is defined by the I AM.

In Ephesians chapter one, we read that we were made accepted in the beloved. Our focus verse shows God chose us because He loved us. Therefore, we are the accepted, beloved, and chosen daughters of the King.

I recently discovered I had an acceptance issue. God woke me up one night and took me back to my childhood. My parents were the greatest, but not outwardly affectionate. As a visually impaired kid in school, kids teased me dreadfully. High school brought few friends but no dates.

At age seventeen, I found acceptance with the party crowd. That is who I identified with. After marriage, a child, and a divorce, I walked away from the party life. Even though I did not know God then, I credit Him for removing me from that mess.

 

When God saved me, I never identified myself as being accepted by Him. Truthfully, most of us cannot grasp God’s acceptance and love. We don’t understand it. We take it for granted. We doubt it.

It isn’t that our identity has really been stolen, but most of us never had it to begin with. Symptoms of a stolen identity appear as we derive our happiness from other sources than God. Things like food, clothes, money, homes, and careers. We do that when we don’t realize we are not genuinely craving our pleasure. We are craving God. That is why the satisfaction is short lived. Only God can satisfy those longings. Not chocolate. Not big bank accounts. Not a new wardrobe. Not pizza. Not a title.

And that is exactly where our enemy, Satan, wants us to be. When he can deceive us into not feeling like the accepted, beloved, and chosen daughter of God, he has stolen our power and authority.

Our feelings, like our enemy lie. Who I am is not defined by my feelings. Who I am is defined by the I AM.

Our identity isn’t found in our cabinets or closets. It is found in Jesus Christ.

 

Now that we know the truth, we can walk with our heads held high. We will no longer feel insecure. We will no longer be enslaved to the number on the scales or the number on our bank accounts. We are royalty. Now, we can answer the question correctly. look into a mirror. Who are you? “I am the accepted, beloved, and chosen daughter of the King.”

Heavenly Father, Thank You for making me acceptable and choosing to love me. Help me defeat the enemy by walking in my true identity in Christ. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Ephesians 1:3-14.

HIKING THE TRAIL

When feelings of worthlessness arise, read God’s love letter to you. Spend time with the truth of Jesus Christ, not the lies of hell.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.