It is so easy to look around and compare our experiences with those of others, but don’t fall into that trap! It’s one thing to dream of a life of joy and gladness, but it’s another thing to compare what you’re walking through to what you think someone else is walking through. It will suck any joy away that you have. It was Theodore Roosevelt who once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy” and it’s true! Comparison is a sin trap the enemy uses to trip up the people of God, to get us to focus on ourselves, instead focusing on the Lord. That very bad habit will act like a pathogen, infecting everything it comes into contact with, infecting everyone else too!
When David looked around and saw what everyone else was up to, in comparison to his own circumstances, which were often dire and filled with war, pain and trials, he chose to adjust his perspective of what a life of joy and gladness looked like. In response to his own circumstances, David wrote this, “Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your face over us. You have placed gladness in my heart that is better than when their corn and their new wine abound.” (Psalm 4:6-7)
Instead of despair, David gave thanks to God that even when the rest of the world was abounding with “corn and new wine”, he had a heart filled with gladness, which was the greater treasure. Why? Because David’s life of joy and gladness was not dependent on anything other than the friendship of God. He had a joy that circumstances wouldn’t diminish or destroy. A lack of gratitude is at the heart of all comparison and it will break your connection to God faster than anything else. Don’t fall for that age-old trick of the enemy! Stay connected to Him through the grateful sacrifice of praise!
Your gladness must come from a deeper place because God has put it there and no one can take that away from you.
Psalm 45:7 says, that because, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.” That’s a promise indeed! One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to bring the oil of gladness to people (Isaiah 61:3)- and yet so many still struggle with depression, comparison, frustrations and worse. Why? Because they refuse to look to Him and continue to look around at everyone else instead, comparing their lives to what someone else has! Don’t fall for the trap. A life of joy and gladness comes from what is inside of you, not outside of you. Seek the Lord in the secret place and He will reward you openly with the gladness no one can take from you.
Thought for today
So the rest of the world appears happy, to “abound”, so what? Stop looking around you! Keeping your mind fixed on the Lord, worship Him more. Why? Because worship is exclusively about Him, not you. Ministry to the Lord is the secret to joy. (See Psalm 16:11) Your gladness must come from a deeper place, not from shallow things, because God has put it there and no one can take that away from you. You can only choose to let it go, or to keep it. “Gladness” depends on how you define it. Did you realize that living a life of joy and gladness is part of the anointing you carry? You don’t have to be “happy” all the time- that’s not the same thing. If you want to have
For further study:
- “Whose Eyes Do You Have?”
- “The Joy of the Lord” Isn’t What You Think It Is”
- Live Devotion: “SOW in Tears, Don’t Just Cry!”