“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” —Psalm 126:5
Ever been so filled with joy that you shouted? Maybe you felt a bit conspicuous after having done so, but oh, it felt good. This sweet release of proclaiming pure joy is like the rocks crying out in praise of God. If we don’t express joy, it will burst out at some point.
But it is likely that we do not all live in that place of continual joy. Not to sound jaded, but reality snuffs out joy if we focus on the waves instead of the Maker of the waves. We can easily fake smiles and put up a good front, but our hearts are not convinced of this inner joy we claim to have.
At Christmas, we can feel mocked by the bright sounds and colors surrounding us while inwardly we mourn the loss of the life we thought we had. How do we find this elusive joy in a world filled with hurt?
God delights in us.
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” —Psalm 18:19 (ESV)
Maybe we have forgotten the simple truth that God delights in us. He takes joy in us. We do not have to face life’s problems feeling forsaken or forgotten, Our God is wild about us. Sometimes we can equate love with what we are given by the one who claims to love us. But we might not see the whole picture.
Do we delight in Him?
“If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you.” —Deuteronomy 28:47, NLT
Do we serve God with the joy and enthusiasm He deserves? Life is hard, but He is our refuge. God made us to be a joyful people. Reading in my Bible reading plan this morning, I was struck by the final chapters of Deuteronomy, which speak of the incredible blessings that God lavishes on us if we will obey His commands and honor Him with our lives. These final chapters also speak of the incredible curses that befall those who do not.
How is it that we can be rewarded when God gives us everything? His kindness overwhelms me! ❤️In Deuteronomy 28:47, we see this relationship with God is not intended to be dry duty, He loves us so much. He restored us. Life’s harsh moments can cause us to forget all of God’s benefits (see Psalm 103).
If we lack joy and enthusiasm, it is likely that we have believed lies about the character of God and His plans for us.
Lies steal our joy.
Lies blind us from seeing our blessings.
Lies separate us from the only real joy-giver.
Expose the lies and replace them with truth from God’s word.
Joy returns when we make our lives about Him and not us. He made us for His glory and worshiping Him is the highest joy. We so desperately need to worship One Who is higher than us. Everything is about and for Him.
Like kindling on fire, we can stir up joy by shouting, perhaps speaking praise from our lips. Speak glorious truth and fan the flames of joy in your soul.
“Thank you, God, for life!”
“Thank you, God, for everything you have given me . . .’
“I worship You for You are Holy, Perfect, Righteous, Loving, Good and Kind!”
“You are faithful and every promise you give will come true!”
Speak from your heart and proclaim the goodness of our God. Joy will follow. And then, perhaps a shout of joy!
Friends, whatever you are going through right now, God can give you joy in the moment. He is your refuge. And He delights in you. Come and delight in Him with me. We are just so blessed to be able to serve Him. May we do so with great joy and may our eyes be opened afresh to the joy of the LORD, which is our strength.
Still need some kindling for that joy? Listen in to the Seeing Deep podcast this week, “Rejuvenating Joy”.