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Have you ever become so fearful of nearly everything that your life seems to be under a dark cloud of worry and despair? That has been me this past year! Fear is a thief. Fear steals joy and robs you of your peace and the enemy operates in fear! So how to stop the devil from stealing your joy when you fear everything is the question. Read on to learn more about how I learned to stop the thief!
Updated and republished from April 1, 2019
Stealing Your Joy With Fear
We just closed on our new house and I was SO excited! I could not wait to move in and start planning our new homestead! We would have chickens and goats and my kids want this lamb named “Dwight” from the Agricultural program my daughter was in at school! But as soon as we moved in, fear moved in too.
I realized the electrical issues that the former homeowner was supposed to fix (and did somewhat) from the inspection were not the only issues. Our inspector missed some outlets that needed to be updated. There were outlets that would just die on us because a wire was disconnected. We had to have an electrician come in on a Sunday to fix it and he was nice enough to inspect the house and let us know what needs to be done.
Over time, the issues just grew and it seemed like every time I turned around we had issues because of “patch jobs” that had been done.
Fear of Fire
I have a couple of things I insist on with any place we live. It has to be safe and it has to be free from pests. I have a fear of house fires. I have had people I know die in house fires or lose their homes to house fires so I have become ever so aware of the danger, especially having kids in the house.
So when I hear I live in a house, a house built in 1880, that has electrical issues it makes me VERY anxious. I hear electrical and my anxiety kicks into HIGH gear.
So my husband helped alleviate some of my fears by putting in really good smoke detectors and CO detectors all over the house, including ones that communicate with each other so if one goes off, it sets off the others. This is great if you have multiple levels in your home.
We also looked over the 2nd floor and identified ways to escape in a fire and we also bought fire ladders.
It is always good to have a plan in advance, especially when there are kids! We also literally live next door to the volunteer fire department so there’s that! I’m a safety girl!
So we did everything we could possibly do (including fire extinguishers) to make me feel safe having kids in this old house.
Fear of Pests
I also have a fear of rodents and certain insects in the house.
I don’t mind them outside, but in the house is an issue. It is not so much the rodent itself as it is the diseases they carry and the damage they do. If I saw one outside (and I have) I have no problem going right up to them. Again, it is not so much the animal but the potential for infestation and disease and damage they can do.
I will be the first to play with a pet mouse or rat. So it is all about the harm they cause as household pests. So when the former homeowner stopped in to help show Dave how to work the generator, I asked about any rodent issues and his answer was “Oh yeah, I trap them all the time! I put traps down and get them all the time!”
What??? Our inspector (again) told us that there were only a “few” droppings in the basement and that was likely because there was a gap in the bulkhead door. So she said if we seal that up we should be good. Sensing my anxiety at his statement, the former homeowner quickly said “NEVER up here! Only in the basement! I have never had any up here in the living area of the house.”
Whew! May have wanted to lead with that one dude!
Well, over time I realized THAT wasn’t true. We have had two of the things in the house over the past year and a half so I can’t believe in 17 years they had never had one in the house. But we found where they got in and sealed it up good and we also did a full exclusion service with Terminix.
But there HAVE been times prior to the exclusion service that I would hear them upstairs in the attic over my head while sleeping. I was SO fearful they would do damage or get into my bedroom.
The fear got so bad that I started to sleep with headphones on so I wouldn’t hear it.
My bedroom no longer felt like my sanctuary like it had. It now felt like a prison. Whenever my husband would say ‘let’s head to bed’ I would become so anxious.
Thankfully since about a month after Terminix did their thing, we have only had 2 in the basement (and with a dry laid stone foundation we will never have zero down there but it is better than the 1-2 a day we used to have down there which then leads to infestation) and NONE in the attic since!
I am once again sleeping without headphones!
If I sound like I was an anxious, emotionally wrecked person it’s because that is what I became! That is what stealing your joy makes you feel like.
Fear is the Thief of Joy
I should have had such joy at having our new home, and that joy was lost for fear that…
For fear that we would have a fire!
For fear that we would have pests again!
Fear that something major would go wrong and we wouldn’t be able to afford it!
For fear that Dave would have to go away for work and something would happen while he’s gone.
Fear! It was all fear! And it was robbing me of enjoying anything about the house!
How to Stop the Devil From Stealing Your Joy!
While I was worrying about all these “could happens”, which honestly could happen to anyone regardless of the age of the house, I was allowing the thief to come in and steal, kill and destroy any joy I had about finally having my little mini-farm!
I wanted this my entire life! I wanted to raise chickens and goats and have my little homestead where I would bake bread and do canning! And I have it! I finally have it! But the enemy, even while I physically sit on the very land and in the very house, has kept me from emotionally moving into it.
I was worried about protecting my kids when they might be at home alone or protecting our home at night so I put in a security system. But yet I wasn’t paying attention to the thief I REALLY had to keep out of my home.
I needed to stop that thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy!
But how do you stop that cycle of fear?
It was easy to hear people say ‘Don’t let the devil steal your joy Diane!’ but how?
I needed to learn HOW! I could stop everything else from coming in but I didn’t know how to stop THIS. I didn’t know how to stop the devil. I could tell others how to stop the devil from stealing your joy but I couldn’t get out of my own head to do it for myself.
Have Life and Have It Abundantly
John 10:10 says:
Yeshua came so I could have life and have it ABUNDANTLY!
I was living but I wasn’t having life! I was surviving but I wasn’t living life! Stealing your joy is stealing your very life!
And I was definitely not having it abundantly.
I had been breathing in and breathing out but I had not been living. My existence had been more like someone in prison.
They live! They get up each day and eat, do their activities, sleep. But they are not living abundantly. They are merely existing.
And the enemy had me in a prison of my own design. I planned it and he constructed it.
He took every fear as a foundation and took every past hurt as a floor-plan.
A prison designed just for me.
And he has designed one for you too; stealing your joy with every fear he uses as a foundation.
Stop that thief from stealing your joy and your peace! Stop him from putting you in that prison!And the enemy had me in a prison of my own design. I planned it and he constructed it. He took every fear as a foundation and took every past hurt as a floorplan. A prison designed just for me. Click To Tweet
The thief was free but the child of God was imprisoned!
Isaiah 41:10 saysI have been breathing in and breathing out but I have not been living. Click To Tweet
How to Stop the Devil From Stealing Your Joy – Gaze Upon Adonai!
Fear not for He is with me! But what stood out to me were these words…
“be not dismayed, for I am your God”
The Hebrew word for dismayed here is sha’ah and it means, according to Strong’s Concordance:
To look at, regard, gaze at, behold!
But it also means:
To look away, to cause your gaze to turn away!
The enemy was causing me to take my eyes off God and who He is and who I am IN Him. I was turning my gaze from Him and looking at my circumstances and looking at the potential for harm.
I wasn’t looking at the blessing. I had turned from that and looked at what the enemy was showing me COULD happen. And in doing that, I wasn’t living abundantly in the blessing God gave me.
And in the process, not only was I not enjoying our new home, our new town, but I wasn’t allowing my husband to either. He was so focused on making me feel more comfortable and dealing with fixing issues and solving problems that he didn’t initially get a chance to enjoy the new home either.
Stop Him From Stealing Your Joy By Turning Your Gaze
God is with you. We sometimes lose sight of that because we turn our gaze.
The enemy gently, so we don’t notice, takes you by the chin and turns your head to look at what he wants you to focus on. Like that word ‘sha’ah’ he causes dismay by turning your gaze.
He has done that to me since the day we moved into this house.
No more! I am now in the practice of turning my gaze back. I am now determined to stop that thief and focus my gaze on the One who holds the world in His hands.
I am his daughter! I am beloved and the King has me in His sights.
He never turns HIS gaze from ME. He never takes His eyes off of me. And if He holds the world in his hands, certainly my little old farmhouse is no problem for Him and I need to, like my dear friend and our congregation’s cantor says to me “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
How to Stop the Devil From Stealing Your Joy – Practical Ways
- Get into the Word –
When you feel like your joy is slipping, when you feel like you SHOULD be joyful (not happy but joyful because happiness is a feeling that can come and go), get into the Word and remind yourself that the Lord wants you to LIVE LIFE abundantly!
- Pray –
Ask the Lord to help you to put those fears to rest. Sometimes just the very act of praying can help you come out from under the cloud of despair the enemy has you under. When he is stealing your joy, go to the Father who can get it right back for you!
- Listen to Music –
Never underestimate what good praise and worship music can do for your peace and joy! This is one of the reasons I slept with headphones. It wasn’t just to block out noise but it was to block out the enemy. Listening to my favorite worship music helped me to not only avoid hearing things but it helped me hear the things that would restore my peace.
- Put on the Armor of God –
How do you put on the armor of God? What is the armor of God? Read Ephesians 6:10-18 to see what is included in that armor and then meditate on Scripture that can help you do each of those things effectively. This comes with verse memorization so you can recall that Scripture readily when you need it.
- Talk to Someone You Trust –
Speak with a fellow believer whether that is a spouse, a pastor, a mentor, about how you’re feeling. A faith-based counselor might be able to help you sort through how you’re feeling and give you some good, practical, faith-based steps you can take to let go of that anxiety, to cast down imaginations and break those strongholds and help you learn how to stop the enemy from stealing your joy from you. Sometimes just talking through your feelings can help. But don’t try to go it alone.
Do you have an old, historic house that sort of made you fearful when you first moved in? I would love to hear about how you conquered those fears and stopped the enemy from stealing YOUR joy, and I would love to hear about your house!! Share in the comments!
I would also love to hear if you just experienced anxiety and fear over something in life that you had a hard time getting through. How did the Lord work in your life? Share the ways you found how to stop the devil from stealing YOUR joy!
And be sure to get your FREE ACTS Prayer Method Workbook below as my gift to you!God is with you. We sometimes lose sight of that because we turn our gaze. The enemy gently, so we don't notice, takes you by the chin and turns your head to look at what he wants you to focus on. Click To Tweet
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.