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Previous Message From Virtual Church

Attack of the Joy-killer

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. (NIV)

If things get bad enough in our lives, many times and in many ways the darkness of life also ushers in the joy-killer. The joy-killer appears in tragedy and loss. The joy-killer appears when we are worried and heavy burdened. The joy-killer appears out of nowhere and for no reason other than to just make us miserable or to keep us miserable. The joy-killer is incredibly good and effective at draining the life and spirit from us. The joy-killer is the start of incredible depression both physical and psychological. Given free reign over us the joy-killer will cast us down and keep us in darkness for years until we physically die.

Question: Who is this joy-killer and how does he work?

The joy-killer is the very presence of Satan in his most deceptive form. The joy-killer is the maker of dark thoughts and who whispers these thoughts in the mind and heart of people who most often face great trials. The joy-killer whispers a thought into the mind of a person hoping the thought kills all hope and optimism. The joy-killer also whispers thoughts into the mind of a person hoping the person becomes overwhelmed with guilt…Satan’s most effective weapon when we are already down and depressed.

Question: Can you give me an example?

Yes. Let us suppose you have someone in the hospital, and you truly care about this person. After visiting the hospital the joy-killer comes and whispers into your ear that you should feel bad, feel awful, feel worried, and maybe even feel sick yourself. So you will not experience any joy or have fun for awhile after your visit. After all, according to the joy-killer, anyone who really cares about someone in the hospital should not be having fun after a visit. There is no logic in the joy-killer’s argument but he doesn’t need much of a logical argument because we soak up his deceptions so easily. You may be worried about someone in the hospital but should you not have life, and hope, and joy because of them? What good does it do for you to let the joy-killer kill a part of your hope and your life when others are struggling? What good are you to others when you have lost your hope and your life? How does losing your joy help others? (Answer: It doesn’t. In fact, when you lose your joy, you can be assured you are not going to pass on any joy to another. Then you can be sick together. Sick thinking too, isn’t it?)

The joy-killer looks for victims. Primary victims are widows, widowers, and persons who have had broken relationships. No other force keeps persons who are grieving more in grief than the joy-killer because the joy-killer convinces the grieving person there can be no more joy. The joy-killer establishes the fact that if one is to have fun during a time of grief then a price is to be paid. Worse still, the joy-killer comes and delivers horrible guilt on the person grieving for even thinking about having fun. The major obstacle in starting over in life after we have been hurt or during our time of grief is guilt. And, what does this guilt do? It keeps the darkness going in our lives. The guilt keeps us down on the floor without any hope, without any Light, without any love coming to us or going out from us. In addition, there will definitely be no laughter.

What is even more deceptive is the joy-killer is not cast out of us or kept away from us just by inspiration alone. In some ways, the joy-killer wants us to keep feeding our pain so we will keep focusing on our pain. Just think about it. If you want to kill someone’s joy in life, do you want him or her forget their pain or do you want them to keep thinking about their pain? By focusing continually on what makes us suffer, we keep on suffering. We all need inspiration every day, but in addition to the inspiration people need joy, goofiness, and craziness in equal quantities if not more. Laughter can be the enemy of the joy-killer. Laughter shared with others just for laughter’s sake delivers to the joy-killer what the joy-killer delivers to us…death.

In heaven, there is joy and joyful laughter. What kind of place would heaven be if no one ever joyfully laughed? It would be an awful place.

In life, there needs to be the joy of goofiness. There needs to be a place in us that does the radically different and radically joyful thing no matter what our circumstances. As we get older and have more dark times, we lose the goofiness that is a part of childhood. For some of us, childhood did not have much joy in it. For us, we need to establish our own space where we can experience joy without the guilt put on us by the joy-killer. We need to establish a space in our lives for the total purpose of letting the truly real person who is not guilt-ridden express and fly free of this world of care and woe. God does not want us to be burdened down by our life and the lives around us. If we are burdened down by the lives around us then we cannot effectively serve Him or them. The first lesson a paramedic learns about a life-threatening situation is to save his or her own life. For if the paramedic dies, the person who needs saving will die too…guaranteed.

Jesus spent a lot of time talking about losing our lives to find our lives. When we walk into our space dedicated to joy, goofiness, and joyful laughter, even in the middle of our own darkness, we are losing our life in order to find it. Do not believe that the power of God is found only in a church service. The power of God, the Love, the Light, the Laughter, the Joy, the Uplifting and Up-building power is as prevalent in places outside the church as it is inside the church.

When we are in the darkness, we are often our own worst enemy. We become our own worst enemy because we buy into everything the joy-killer whispers into our ear. Look at what the joy-killer whispers into our ear and what we then begin to think and say…

"I just cannot go on."
"I just cannot ever live again."
"I just cannot see my way out."
"All the joy is gone."
"There is no hope now."
"Life is over."
"I’ll never get over it."
"The end has come."
"My time is over."
"There is just no way."
"The music has died."
"I will never love again."

When we are in a state of mind and heart where we say or think the statements above, the only one having fun is the joy-killer. In his vast deception and with his vast deceptive techniques, the joy-killer does everything possible to get you and everyone you know to make these kinds of statements. Not only are the statements above from our real life experiences, they all work to kill our lives.

We do not find humor in the accounts of Jesus’ life. The reason we do not find this humor is that humor could have discounted all He said and did. Instead of taking everything He said seriously, the addition of humor would have made a mockery of His truth. Even though there was a relative absence of humor in the written gospels about Jesus’ teachings, all His teachings directly attack the darkness. All of His works and acts attack the darkness. For the sake of making the point about goofiness adding to our lives, let us look at some Bible quotes and add one of our own dark thoughts to see how goofy we get when the joy-killer whispers.

When Peter was drowning…

Matthew 14: 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" (NIV)

Now according to our normal dark way of thinking we would look at Peter drowning in the sea and say, "Sorry Peter, it’s all over. You’re sunk."

There was a ruler whose daughter had died…

Matthew 9: 18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." (NIV)

Would Jesus look at this man and say, "I’m sorry, there is no way. It is over. There is no hope now." Absolutely not.

When the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment…

Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment. (NIV)

Would Jesus have ever said to this woman, "It is no use. You are sick now and you are going to be sick until you die. There is no hope now because it is over." Absolutely not.

We have added ridiculous comments. We have added goofy comments that are not even possible for Jesus to think.

When the joy-killer whispers in our ear we are not supposed to just soak up what he says. So bad is the situation with some people they want the whisperings of the joy-killer.

You may be a victim of the joy-killer, but you are not supposed to stay that way. Yes, you do grieve but you are supposed to get up, get out, and live. Yes, we do hurt, but you are supposed to laugh and live and love in spite of the hurt. Yes, parts of your life may be broken but you are still supposed to have a joyful space you can romp in, even if you are crippled.

May God bless you and keep you goofy.

 

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2010 by Rev. Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018