Thoughts on Jerry Savelle's: If Satan can't steal your joy, he can't keep your goods [book notes]

Before I became a Christian, I was in a school where atheism and agnosticism was the trend more than religion, and Christianity was always mocked. Somehow my intellectual professors saw Christians as irrational goody-goodies, and as described by one staunch critic: 'holier-than-thou' people. My position then was agnostic: no one can know for sure who made the world, and I didn't believe in a divine power watching over humanity, and events in life are mere pure chance.

I sat beside a guy who'd rather read Dan Brown than the Bible, and he said that the Bible was mere 'lies'. I wasn't a Christian then (only on paper, not in the heart), but I thought, for sure, it musn't be all lies. It has guided many lives for thousands of years, and while bad Christians has affected the image of modern religion, there are still good Christians out there. But to me, most were fanatics who would try to convert you at any chance. Anyway, I got out of that university because I wasn't happy there anyway.

I was around 19 when I started studying the Bible. Yeah, you know this stuff from childhood but after a period of cynical unbelief, I found the word of God refreshing. I read the New Testament, and yet again saw the suffering of Christ and his disciples. I saw Christianity again in a different light. I started reading C.S. Lewis, and I read something by him that changed my mind. It is so much harder to be good than to be bad. And choosing the path of Christianity, if you accept Christ, is not a mere walk in the park - that's where all the challenges start.

It is an arduous journey - sometimes you rejoice, and sometimes you fall into despair. The problem with me is I always forget... that ultimately, the purpose is life is to serve God, and everything - is in his control. We are all already healed by the grace of the Cross, but the enemy will be stronger now that you are a believer. The walk with Christ is a constant everyday battle, and it will not stop until the moment you die.

I was having the same old problems (I am currently on therapy now), and I had an enlightening talk with a teacher. I needed someone to wake me up again: that I have the power to solve my own problems. I can't continually walk and let depression and trauma overrule me. If I keep thinking that there's no way out, then evil forces will bring me down even more.

And I've realized that this kind of thinking is wrong! Why let yourself down when God brought your soul at a high price? We should act like sons and daughters of God, strong soldiers in battle. The battle in the mind is spiritual, too. I've only realized it so late. No matter how much you go into therapy, if you don't do the work and will yourself to heal, it will go nowhere. Unless you cling into your problem because having the problem has its advantages (the attention, the pity, the help).

I read this short book which looks cute on the cover but actually has a strong message. "The thief is here to steal, kill, and destroy." But as long as you have JOY in praise of the Lord, the enemy can do nothing. You can reach your full potential as God intended you to be. UNLESS you allow your joy to be stolen.

"The devil can't take your joy from you, but he can create enough pressure around you until you willfuly give it up. If you fall into his deception and give up your joy, then he has totally defeated you. Without joy, which comes from the word of God, you have to foundation to stand on. You become open game to the enemy."

"You will do some stupid things sometimes when you allow yourself to be deceived. You forget everything you know about the Word. You become irrational. When you are afraid, everything you know about the Word suddenly flies out the window and you do foolish things. That's exactly what Satan wants you to do."

The book's message is that healing is not something to attain, it is already within when we accepted Christ to change our hearts. It is the enemy who is trying to steal it from you - and he can use it through lies, depression, discouragement. It is a daily fight. Once you receive the Word, it doesn't end there. That's where all the challenges start, that's when THE WAR IS ON. Until you have the Word, you were no threat to the enemy. Once you hear the Word, it is when the Thief will come to you and steal it fast - through adversity and deception.

The question is, is your faith strong enough? And its through this testing that faith will be strengthened.

Sometimes we need reminders of the obvious. When we have problems, no one can take away your joy UNLESS YOU LET IT. You can't praise God and be discouraged at the same time. If the enemy can't take away your joy, he can't defeat us and what he had stolen will come back. He can't defeat you.

God supplies all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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