Every day I see the work of Satan around me:
Worry. Fear. Anger. Discontentment. Gossip. Maliciousness. Meanness. Sadness. Grief.
Sometimes it seems like those things are the only things people feel and do and think. Like Satan's taking over the world.
In some ways, he has. God's given him some temporary, limited control over the earth--just for now. But God is still at work. His Holy Spirit is still active and changing lives and hearts. Jesus' sacrifice was all that was needed for the salvation of the whole world, once for all, and it has not nor will it ever be nullified.
The Gospel changes hearts. What Christ did for us on the cross took away the power of Satan in our lives. Sure, he still has ways of affecting our lives. Sin is still a big part of the world, and it's still part of every person, including believers.
But knowing what we know about what God has done for us changes everything. Having an eternal perspective on life means that we don't have to despair. The things that define who Satan is don't have to define us.
In Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives, we can know love. Peace. Contentment. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Selflessness. Comfort. Happiness. Joy.
Ann's Joy Dare for today asks for "3 ways you witnessed happiness today."
I witnessed happiness in a four-year-old holding her daddy's hand.
In a good-looking, head-over-heels-for-each-other couple hand in hand.
In my friend eating bread that I made yesterday.
And I experienced happiness myself:
In a hug from my husband.
Nearly two hours to read a good book undisturbed.
Several compliments on my outfit today.
Singing in choir beside a lovely friend.
So yes, Satan still has an influence on my life. But God has a bigger one. He's the one who has taken over my heart. He has "turned my mourning into dancing." The hope I have in eternal life means that this life can be one of joy.