Look around. Look at the faces of people around you. On the streets. On the MRT. In your church. You’ll see it everywhere: So many people have been robbed of their joy.

“It is a Christian duty for everyone to be as joyful as they can be,” said C S Lewis. And so, as a Christian, I took this call to reflection to heart; I began to look into my own life. Has my life so far reflected His joy? Would other non-believers want to follow Jesus after seeing the life I lead?

Too many times, we Christians, we’re fighting, driving, striving. We feel like we need to overcome this hurdle, push through that season or fight a battle. Amid all that we sometimes forget about the joys of walking with Jesus.

We all know that in the Bible, Jesus says that “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). But come on God, can that really be true for my life too?

Well, yes.

Has my life so far reflected His joy? Would other non-believers want to follow Jesus after seeing the life I lead?

His joy can strengthen you (Nehemiah 8:10), and it was joy that Jesus held onto to complete His mission on earth (Hebrews 12:2). This joy is meant for us, too.

Note that this joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is dependent on our circumstances – joy is not. That’s because it’s in Jesus, and He is steadfast, unchanging, forever the same.

Because this joy is so closely tied to our walk with Jesus, because this joy is meant to be our strength to get us through the trials and tough times, we need to realise that the evil one will do everything he can to take it from us – to steal our joy. Don’t let him. Here’s some handles on how to guard your joy.


1. Be in awe 

A child is always learning, always impressed, always curious and always amazed. That is what we must become: Childlike. As Jesus said, whoever takes the lowly position of a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4).

If you feel like you have been robbed of your joy from doing ministry, you have to fall back in love with Jesus again – to rediscover your childlike wonder in your wonderful Saviour. Go back to that first love, when you were moved and compelled by His compassion.

His love is immense, vast beyond imagination. When we grasp that, we will know that everything we do is merely a response to His love and His grace. A place where we are so in awe of Him that it is manifested in the worshipship service that is a life lived for Him.

2. Be grateful

It says in Isaiah 61:3 to put on a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, or heaviness. Honestly, it’s easier said than done. But being grateful is fundamental to joy. Being grateful is not trying to convince/psycho yourself that you’re happy, but rather choosing to focus on what He has done in your life – be it your school, workplace, church, home, family, friends.

Jesus died for us so we “may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance” (John 10:10, Amplified version). So you don’t have to try to create/make up joy in yourself – it is there. You just have to put it on – put on the garment of praise.

3. Be real 

As we serve God and His church, sometimes we hide the side of us that we don’t want people to see. The suffering or sin that you’re going through. The accumulation of unheard cries and lonely nights have made you numb and robbed you of your joy. Although you fight to stay faithful in serving His people, this double life may have caused you to lose your joy.

But God is a master at restoring broken lives; He craves for us to surrender our broken pieces to Him (Psalms 51:16-17). Out of the brokenness pours forth love. Vulnerability is powerful when in the hands of God.

Be in awe. Be grateful. Be real. Keep these in mind the next time the devil tries to discourage you. The enemy can’t rob you of your joy, it is yours, given by God. The evil one can only try to fool you into letting go of it.

If you have been one of the joy-bringers, thank you for what you are doing. That at the cost of your temporal “joy”, God was able to bring His eternal, matchless, abundant joy to others through you.

If you feel that you have lost your joy, you don’t have to drop everything. In the words of Joyce Meyer, “the rest of God is not a rest from work — it’s a rest in work. It’s partnering with God to do what He is calling you to do by His grace, and leaving the part you can’t do in His hands, trusting Him to do it.”

Hold on to Jesus. Hold on to your joy.