Boxer Knocks Himself Out - In the early ’30s, Louisiana State University had a six-foot-five heavyweight boxer, named C. D. Blaylock, who had an extremely long reach. In one meet he was fighting a stocky opponent from Mississippi State. During the second round, Blaylock wound up with a roundhouse right that was labeled knockout if it landed. To avoid the blow, the Mississippi State heavyweight stepped in close, and his head hit Blaylock’s right elbow. This acted as a lever and added power to the fist, which completely circled the shorter man’s head, ending up on Blaylock’s own jaw. Stunned by his own blow, the fighter grasped the rope and started groggily round the ring, then collapsed. He had knocked himself out. 
Sometimes we can be our biggest problem! This is true when dealing with joy. Remember – we desire a foundation called “Joy” where we live based on our relationship with God, Who is always the same. We do not want a life built on “happiness” which is controlled by emotions. Happiness depends primarily on circumstances, but Joy is different. When you are close to God and know that He is in control, no matter the circumstance, there is that confidence the Holy Spirit produces that secures your heart with the reality that a Merciful, Gracious, Loving God has eternal plans for you. Everything will work out in the end to be best for you.
Notice, I said when we are “close” to God. Having Joy does depend on us. What will keep the joy of God in us? The answer is very simple – Obedience.
Remember, we saw in our last Devo from Hebrews, that Jesus could endure the terrible circumstance of the cross, because He saw the goal of pleasing the Father, and that reality filled Him with Joy!
In the garden Jesus wrestled within Himself the circumstance He was about to endure…notice though His conclusion:
Luke 22:40–42 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Jesus obeyed His Father and yielded to His will. The Lord exhorted us to do the same and promised that we would experience the peace the foundation of Joy brings!
John 15:9–11 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
This passage answers the obvious question that we all have once we realize the Key to possessing Joy is obedience…how can we stay obedient? Sorry to be redundant… “Simple!” Abide in Christ. Don’t make that complicated, it’s not. Abiding is nothing more than spending time with Jesus. Yes, it can be difficult due to the desires of the flesh, but it is never complicated. Connectivity to Jesus is one prayer away!
Many believe it is disobedience, however, I would like to “tweak” that answer because the tragic fact is that we live in a flesh that is fallen, craves sin and will fight to have it’s way! So if every time we sin we lose our joy, our life will be the same as someone that lives based on happiness…an ongoing rollercoaster! I have found the real issue is - unconfessed sin! We will blow it, face it, yet, we can run straight to the Lord in confession, agreeing with Him that we blew it and then turning from it. If, on the other hand, we remain in pride or shame, refusing to humbly go to the Lord, the foundation of Joy will begin to become fragile, until at some point the circumstances will become so heavy that we will cave in to emotions and climb back into the rollercoaster of emotions!
The best way I can end this is with a real example that just happened. Just yesterday my eldest son called me with some very bad news. While returning with his family from a vacation, 200 miles from his home, the family van they had just bought 6 months ago, threw a rod, the engine is gone. In the midst of a heart breaking circumstance, the only vehicle that will fit his family of 8, an expense they had worked for, now lost, and some very difficult choices to make…he spent his time on the phone sharing how he thanked God for allowing them to reach where their cell phone worked before the engine blew, that he has such good friends from the spiritual community they have, two different cars are coming out to get them! He is sad but not destroyed and he saw what really mattered, the safety of his family! I felt very convicted because I complained last week about the air conditioner in my car not working!
Meditation: How highs are your highs and how lows are your lows? What should control those emotions? What do circumstances do to your understanding of God? How do circumstances impact your view of God’s love for you? In what ways this week could you make sure you are abiding with Christ?
 Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.