LSOF: Part 2- Things that try to steal our joy …”You can have all this world…”

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There are times when a post to write is so deep within my own heart that it takes a good while
to come to the surface.
I think the reason being, that I can relate to this one more than any other.

I have had a lot of “joy stealin” in my life.

I’ve been discouraged. demanded. ridiculed. reduced. ripped apart. humiliated. hurt. hated.
burned. bombarded. bruised. backhanded. fooled. faked. flattened. pushed. pulled. picked at. shoved.
shouted at. suffocated.
” hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted,
but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 cor 4:9)
I know what its like to feel like your face is to the ground and you can’t lift your head up, because it hurts too much
emotionally.
My joy is found through my pain. It is found in my weakness…”His joy will be my strength.”

My friends there is nothing more from this earth that could save us from ourselves, that can save us from others.
There is no brand name item. piece of gold. selection of music. cell phone. place on earth. place on another planet.
medicine. drink. drug. tv show. movie. perfume….

I was watching a documentary the other day that is one of my favorites, its called,
” A Poor Man Shames Us All” and it is about america vs. other cultures when it comes to “affluenza”

Affluenza: A feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, etc, caused by the dogged and ongoing pursuit of more

Its interesting how “things” we think can make us feel better and “happier” make us feel more empty inside.

In one scene of the movie there is a garbage man who everyday says he goes out and throws away perfectly good
things; stuff he wishes he had sometimes that others feel like they don’t need anymore.
” People buy things just to have them.”
He lives in a 2 bedroom apartment, and says his family means the world to him.

The disconnect in all of it is we have replaced people, and relationships with things.
How many pictures do you see of people holding their cell phones in their hands, how many
our playing with them during the picture?
My point exactly.
Whole families tweet on twitter who are in the same room! Something is wrong with that!

But what I want to get back to here is these our “joy stealing” things that we dont’ think steal our joy.
We make up excuses, and find reasons why we need these things.

I am reading a book that I’ve had on my shelf for probably 10 yrs called, ” Just Give Me Jesus” by Anne Graham Lotz.

I was going to do a study online with some friends of mine I met through blogworld, but someone from my church was talking with me, and it so happened that she mentioned, ” I have a book that’s been staring at me to read…”

And I remembered I had that very book as well. So I prayed about it, and realized
my direction does not come from what is popular, or on demand from the world, it needs to come from what is popular and in demand in God’s sight.

I just started reading it, and already there are tears in my eyes! It is an amazing book!

This one part just so hits me, because its something I hadn’t realized before.
It talked about how the way that professionals recognize counterfeit money is not from studying the fake thing,
they recognize it by studying the real thing.

” “If you and I want to detect counterfeit Christ’s and counterfeit truth we need to immerse ourselves in the real thing.”
-Anne Graham Lotz

And something that spoke to me while I read this was also:
If we allow “things” to be our focus, then we set ourselves up to become “counterfeit” Christians, and we set ourselves up
to be that example. We set ourselves up to teach the world ” they need things more than Jesus.”
People are studying us…they may seem that they are trying to “steal our joy” when they say and do things that hurt us,
but more so believe me…

They are looking to see if we are the real thing.

I was reading a post of FB status that said something to the affect that a non-Christian never met a Christian
that didn’t want to be his friend after he told them he didn’t believe.

That man was shown that “things” were more important than people…”things” being words or writings from others
from over the span of centuries.

There is no segregation with Jesus. So why do we allow it here?

In another scene of the movie there is a boy in Kenya who has no money to give, or anything at all…
but he made up a song and would gladly sing it for anyone.
I think that would be something called, Giving more than he has.
and the scene changes to a homeless man on the streets of corporate music america, and all just pass him by.

But the only truth in all of this, the only way that we will be able to keep ourselves from losing our joy on either side…
to come together…to pray together..to learn together…

Another part of the movie is the most touching in all of it.

There is a man whose father passes on from his tribe. As an honor the family cuts a huge stone, and it was to be carried 20 miles to where it will rest where his father is.
” 400 people must have the purpose of one for the rock to move.”

” In other cultures relationships are more important than things, in our society things are more important than relationships.”- A Poor Man Shames Us All

We have to see what we’ve been through as strength not a weakness, we have to learn that there is nothing in this world that can sustain us more than our God.

Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall(Psalm 55:22)

He is the wind under our feet…he is who keeps us moving…he is who moves us…

We have to stop putting ourselves down, or compare ourselves to how others have dealt with life.

We have all have our “grass is greener on the other side moments”

But it never is.

” You can have all of this world, just give me Jesus…”

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2 thoughts on “LSOF: Part 2- Things that try to steal our joy …”You can have all this world…”

  1. I like how you point out that relationships in many other cultures is more important than things. I’ve surely grown up in that aspect of American culture but as I raise my baby girl I am accutely aware that I do not want to raise her that way. I eat up books by people from other countries like the Lost Boys of the Sudan, girls from the middle east, who remind me not to be lulled into a cultural captivity to bow before “want” and worldly affirmation. If I’ve learned anything it is that there is nothing I can do to get the acceptance of this world and there is nothing I can do to lose the love of God.

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