October 7, 2013

Don't Let the Devil Steal Your Joy Revisited

A 2013 World Happiness Report released September 2013 by Columbia University’s Earth Institute ranked the United States 17 for overall happiness. Another 2013 poll reported that 207 million Americans, or approximately two-thirds of our population, say they are not very happy.

Our country is involved in a war against terrorism, but each one of us is in a private war against Satan who is determined to deprive us of our joy.

The apostle Peter said that Satan walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, and Paul tells us that we wrestle, not against flesh and blood but the rulers of darkness.

Paul Meier, author of Happiness is a Choice, points out that the Devil cannot steal your joy if you recognize that you, not Satan, are in control of your own attitude. As Abraham Lincoln said, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

In other words, your attitude toward life, toward misfortune, toward the irritants of each day is yours alone, and nobody, not the Devil, not your boss, not the Republicans or the Democrats, the liberals or the conservatives can take your attitude from you unless you let them.

One of Satan’s most effective weapons for stealing your joy is when you allow yourself to brood, stew, fret and fuss over a disservice that someone did to you. Meier suggests that forgiving others is the single most important thing we do to be happy.

People whose opinions I respect debate the existence of Satan, but for me, Paul’s command to “put on the armor of God” is an invitation to prepare for battle against an image of evil personified who exists to steal my joy. I, for one, will not let the Evil One win this battle.