Guard Your Joy – Ray E Horton
Do not allow anyone or anything to steal your joy. That would include our own thoughts and worries. How is that possible? We find out in Acts 2:28 quoting Psalm 16:11: “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
The best place to be filled with the joy of the Lord is in His presence. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Paul repeats himself, so he must have considered it important. How do we do that? Well, there are more secrets to keeping the joy of the Lord as we read on.
Thanksgiving a Key
In Vs. 5 we are reminded that “The Lord is near (at hand).” Then, (Vs. 6) tells us to “Be anxious for nothing” It then tells us how: “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” What kind of prayer? Prayer “with thanksgiving.”
We see in Vs. 7 that it brings “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” which “will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Our hearts and minds are where the battle lies, and that is where we need this protection through the prayer of faith and thanksgiving.
With the peace of God, in His presence, mindful that He is near, one more piece of advice assures our joy, as we read in Vs. 8:
Change the subject in your mind
“…whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.”
In other words, we change the subject in our minds from the things that steal our joy, and instead focus on all that is good and that for which we are thankful.