Could You Use Some Joy About Now?
Just when I think I’ve heard it all, another woman will break my heart with what she has gone through in her marriage, as a parent, or as a woman who has experienced physical or emotional pain. Hurt will never go out of style. And I remember thinking, as I read through those stories, that as long as I’m writing for hurting hearts, there will, sadly, always be an audience for my books.
It’s sad, but it’s a reality of the broken world we live in.
And yet…I’m thinking you could use a little joy about now. Well, I’ve got good news for you: Experiencing joy is easier than you think.
I’m glad God didn’t give us a 1o step — or even a three-step process — to experiencing joy in our lives. He basically told us there is one way, one step, one thing to do to experience His joy — regardless of our circumstances: Stay close to Him.
In Psalm 16:11 we read:
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever (NASB).
In Your presence. That’s our instruction for finding joy. Remain in His presence. That’s not a hard thing to do when you consider that Psalm 139 tells us there’s nowhere we can go where His presence does not follow.
Joy is not dependent on our circumstances. And that’s a good thing because our circumstances can change every day. Joy is dependent on our condition. And if you are a child of God (meaning you are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your righteousness before God), then that condition — as His child — never changes. And that means, even when life deals you a blow, there is a deep-seated joy in your soul that cannot be shaken because of Whose you are. In fact, as you cling to the Lord, as you draw closer to Him, as you lean in to your Abba Daddy, that is when you sense His joy.
James 4:7-8 says:
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…
There it is. Again. Draw near to God. He’s already there — in the same place He’s always been, with arms extended toward you. You are the one who needs to “draw near.” Tell Him all that’s on your heart. Trust Him even with what you don’t understand. Sing praises to Him, even in the pain. And you will experience His joy.
Only YOU can let life’s circumstances or someone else steal your joy. Don’t do it. Keep clinging tightly to Him.
Help me out, readers. How do YOU stay in His presence when life’s circumstances try to pull you down? Leave a comment in the section below and I’ll give away another couple of devotional books (God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart) for the most helpful suggestions.