As I was pondering the world the other day, the Spirit called to my memory a chorus teacher I had many years ago who used to say, "ain't nobody gonna steal my joy!" She was emphatic enough to be believed. But many years have passed since then. I am confident that there have been countless times since then when the world did, in fact, steal her joy.
I googled this phrase, wondering if it had come from some old song or something, and this newer song came up: https://youtu.be/yOEviTLJOqo
It is interesting that the song is your typical "I have been forgiven of my past sins, therefore everything in my life is happy" mainstream Christian trope. That is a worldview that can only exist at an exceedingly low level of awareness.
I would wager everything I have that there are things in this life--even common things--that could steal the joy of anyone portrayed in this video.
This is an interesting passage of scripture:
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. (Psalm 45)
Glory, majesty, might, meekness, truth, righteousness. Yet "they right hand shall teach thee terrible things." What are these terrible things? They are the increasing evil revealed when one acquires more awareness.
Without God, these terrible things will overcome you. An incorrect or incomplete idea of God will be insufficient to contend. The "I have been forgiven therefore I am happy" tripe will not be enough to get you through this world, although it may be sufficient for spans of time. Have you ever known a "Christian" who is full of fear on their deathbed? Then you know of what I speak. And this sort of "ego death"--the violent revelation of the insufficiency of one's beliefs to contend with reality--can happen to anyone at anytime, whether visible to outsiders or not.
The gospel is a means to contend with (not erase) the increased sorrow and evil that unavoidably comes through increased awareness. To overcome the world means that there is nothing left in this world (whether you have experienced it or not) that can steal your joy.
Is there anything in this world that would cause you to react by:
-Trusting God less?
-Believing God is less loving?
-Believing God is less wise?
-Believing God is less powerful?
-Acting contrary to your most sincere idea of God's character?
If so, you have not overcome the world, and whatever that thing is that would cause you to react that way has power over you. It has power to steal your joy.
Even if you can't think of anything that would cause you to react this way, can you be absolutely certain that nothing exists in this world with that ability?
Can you tell the difference between the unknown and the non-existent?
Can you loudly and confidently and accurately proclaim that nothing can steal your joy? Can you loudly and confidently and accurately proclaim that nothing can separate you from the love of God?
Some people can, and it makes all the difference in the world.