Have you ever felt bad for feeling good? We have a very real adversary who is a diabolical expert at turning things right side up, upside down. In fact, Jesus said of the devil in John 8:44, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
And yet, though we know Satan exists and is a liar, how often do we fall for his schemes and deceptions? Even though we know he is the master of smoke-and-mirrors, how often does he have us chasing our own tails? How often does he so distort the truth and manipulate us that he can even have us feeling bad for feeling good? Have you ever been there? Have you ever been given good news or experienced good things in your life only to be tricked into a false sense of guilt? How many times in our lives has God our Father sent us His blessings and yet we were bamboozled out of our joy and thanksgiving?
These thoughts surfaced for me a few days ago during my devotional time as I read in Deuteronomy 28:47-48, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.” Please note, the Holy Spirit quickened my attention as I read, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity…”
In so many ways, I am a very blessed person. Do I have my own issues, hang ups, and problems? Sure! But, even so, compared to so much of the world and to so many people, I am hyper-abundantly blessed. God loves me, I trust in Jesus, I live free, have food to eat and a nice house with green grass in the yard, great daughters, a loving wife of 38 years, a great church home, friends, a good name, I win in the end, and on and on. I am blessed!
But yet, in my times of prosperity, do I neglect to serve the Lord joyfully and gladly? Too many times am I too negative and too quick to whine about this or that? Shame on me! If I am blessed, which I am, then I need to inform my face and attitude and learn to live joyfully and gladly as a way to honor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I do not desire to displease God by being one of those who “did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity.”
To all who will read these written words, please allow me to state loud and clear, I am super abundantly blessed in so many ways and I desire for all honor and glory to go to God for His love and many underserved, gracious, and exceedingly generous gifts. And, more and more, may I learn to live a grateful and joyful life.