Joy’s Sand Traps

What is your strategy?

Psalm 5:11 – But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.

Every professional golfer, and many amateurs, know that the best strategy when it comes to sand traps is to avoid them completely. But that doesn’t happen. Getting out of a sand trap can be one of the hardest shots to master in golf. The right loft, spin, and impact are tricky. The golfer’s number one decision when he finds himself in that situation is to choose the right club.  Then take the right set-up, find the right grip, make the right shot, and follow through.  Another seldom considered strength is for the golfer to keep the right mindset. And consistent practice is essential.

For many Christ-followers, they prefer living the life of faith as one smooth fairway shot after another, and an easy putt into the cup time after time.  Just one blessing after another! Even as you talk about being thankful for the blessings that God gives, when you are honest, you will admit that the spiritual sand traps are out there, and they can sometimes be hard to avoid. James says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2), when you fall into those sand traps.

Using the golfing metaphor, then, to extract yourself from those things that interrupt the flow of joy in your life, use the right tool—your Bible is the first place to go for answers. Then take the right stand…don’t shift about from one foot to the other but find your balance in the wisdom of God. Get a grip! Pray. Seek the Lord in all things. Having the right mindset means putting your thoughts on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). Keep at it. Then look for the joy and put a smile in your heart, for God is continuing to bless you, to teach you, to comfort you, and to protect you.

Pray With Us

Holy God, today’s verse from Psalms says to sing for joy. As I pondered this, my thoughts turned to an old hymn: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer.” And “Have you trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? You should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer.”  Coming to Your very throne room and placing myself at Your feet is certain joy. Knowing You hear me because You love me and You care about what concerns me, brings joyful tears to my eyes. Thank You for giving me that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory. You are a good, good Father, and I love you. Amen.

  • Pray the Scriptures: “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
  • Pray the Scriptures: “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
  • Pray the Scriptures: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psalm 51:12).
  • Pray the Scriptures: “The hope of the righteous brings joy” (Proverbs 10:28).
  • Pray the Scriptures: “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed” (Psalm 71:23).
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in you. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Pray the Scriptures: “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:19).
  • Pray any other joy Scriptures that God brings to your mind and be thankful.

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