Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your Name be joyful in You.
Psalm 5:11 (NKJV)
Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation
Isaiah 12:3 (NKJV)
Before becoming a committed Christian, my life was full of striving, stress, worry, war, and people-pleasing. I had moments of happiness and glimpses of life, often through my children. I had distractions and diversions (television, movies, eating, shopping, and work, work, work), but I did not have joy.
Today I talk of joy. God put it in my soul and on my mind to remind you, my brothers and sisters, to live in it. 'Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength' (Nehemiah 8:10).
Satan cannot come near us when we are joyful. The sights and sounds of joy sicken him. Joy robs him of power. When God's children awaken and surrender to Christ, joy fills us. It is proof of the Holy Spirit within us.
Since Satan hates joy, does he leave us alone? No! He shoots his fiery darts like long range missiles. They may take aim at us from friends, family, colleagues, strangers, and circumstances near or far--from those not yet strong in the Lord. They seek to destroy our joy.
What do we do? We put on the armor of God, 'Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil' Ephesians 6:10-11). The armor of God will protect our joy, and our joy will draw others to us and the God we serve like a magnet.
Thus, we shall laugh like God in the joy of life and sure defeat of Satan, especially when it's hard.
'The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming' (Psalm 37:13), because His joy is our foundational, immoveable, ever-present strength in times of need.