Not Even the Smell of Smoke

July 31, 2020

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22 NLT

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 NLT

Solomon said with great accuracy that if you have a broken spirit, it will sap the strength in your soul and body across the board. On the other hand if you deliberately choose a cheerful spirit, it will work like medicine for you and the people around you. Strength will flow from you to others as well. It won’t be the circumstances that determine it. It will be your choice.

Jesus said that we can count on Satan to be a thief who would attempt to steal and kill and destroy. He wreaks havoc when we allow our situation and circumstances to steal our joy, kill our dreams, destroy our spirit. We are going to face the temptation to endure life instead of enjoying it. But Jesus is so much more powerful than Satan. He enters the same situation that Satan is making seem hopeless and endless and comes to give us a rich and satisfying life.

Do you remember the story of the three young Hebrews who were thrown into a fiery furnace because they would not deny their faith and bow down to the golden image? They believed in the goodness of God more than the hardness of their circumstances. They told the king that the God they served was able to deliver them—and then they said,“But even if he doesn’t and we die in the flames, he is still good and we will worship no one but Him”(Daniel 3:17-18). They were thrown into the furnace, seven times hotter. Jesus showed up in the fire! The witnesses all saw Him! All three of them came out, not only alive and smiling with no burns, but the witnesses were stunned—they didn’t even smell like smoke!

That’s such a great direction for all of us. We live in a broken world, and incredibly difficult and disappointing things will happen. The question is, will we decide ahead of time that our Lord is the giver of a rich and satisfying life? Will we decide to have a cheerful heart instead of letting our circumstances sap our strength? Will we decide that no matter what the circumstances, God is still good? If so, people will know that we have been in the fire, and they will be baffled by our joy. They won’t believe that the smell of smoke doesn’t hover around us all the time because we still laugh, we still have fun, we still have a deep-settled joy. Speaking of having joy, one of my great inspirations is that I have always kept a picture of a laughing Jesus in my office. It inspires me every day.

  • Pray: Jesus, You are with me in the hard times. You enable me to laugh like You and enjoy my life, not endure my life. Help me laugh, have fun, and be fun. Chase away the smell of smoke. Amen.