joy, value

When Life Threatens to Steal Your Joy and Undermine Your Value

As Christians, we are designed to share God’s love with others and bring forth the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. Despite the incredible calling that every one of us has on our lives, however, Satan threatens to snatch it from our grasp and bring reckoning wherever he can. We saw it with Adam and Eve as he posed a threat to their relationship with Christ and succeeded. King David was constantly threatened and undermined, causing him to (at times) be unable to bring forth the goodness of God in his earthly kingdom. Jesus himself faced the threats of the enemy, and for forty days leaned into His Father for strength, protection, and defense against Satan’s ploys. So how do we walk through life when it feels like we are being threatened at every turn?

What threats are preventing you from living a joy-filled life? I thought about this statement this week as it felt as if threats were coming out of the shadows and rearing their ugly faces in unexpected ways. Full transparency; it came with a day of deep anxiety and loneliness created by life circumstances that caused me to question my value. Discussions about finances, saving for the future, and the realities of being an adult only escalated my worries. Difficult conversations, open judgment, the busyness of this season and yes, even a lack of sleep and self-care, spearheaded the way for thoughts and emotions to revolve around all that I am doing wrong rather than how God is working in my life. Why am I sharing this? Because life is filled with threats, and these threats can not only steal our joy in the present but threaten our future and purpose in God’s Kingdom.

A colleague undermining your work? That can feel like a financial threat. Sickness in your own life or that of a family member? A threat to your health. Anxiety and depression are preventing you from living life to the fullest? A threat to your life. Judgment? A threat to your personal value.

So how do we overcome these circumstances that threaten our joy and value in God?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -John 10:10

The first thing to remember is that the value that God has placed on your life is not a mistake. If you lost your job tomorrow, found yourself in an unhealthy relationship, and managed to wreck your car in this sporadic winter weather; your value does not change. We don’t become any less important to God.

Life is difficult. God knows this full well, especially as He has given us the ability to make our own choices. God’s grace and mercy are so remarkable, however, that He works to bring goodness out of even the most difficult circumstances. When Jesus was threatened in the wilderness and His faith in His Father came under question, Jesus was able to dig into the true character of God and plant himself firmly in the goodness of His strength. When Jesus emerged from the wilderness, He had a better relationship with His Father, as God was His source of joy and value even when His faith was tested.

Does it feel like you are in a season where nothing is going right? Where there are more questions than answers? Where you plead for God to show His goodness in the midst of difficult situations that are trying to steal your peace, joy, and value?

While it seems that life “just happens,” and we have another hurdle to jump over, God is in control of the race. He knows the difficulties that will attempt to block our paths. He knows every moment in which we feel threatened. He knows when His joy is hard for us to grasp, and even in which to believe. But, in every circumstance He is unchanging, and His love for us remains pure and strong.

So why not give Him the areas of our lives that feel threatened? Why not allow Him to hold onto our anxiety for who we are, our future, and our place in this world? While we can worry and feel threatened, God can untangle the mess and bring forth something more incredible than we could ever imagine. He’s done it before and will continue to do it again!