“There are many who say, ‘Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!’
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.”
This morning I am contemplating our joy. The joy poured into the hearts of those who look to and follow the Lord. Joy far greater than the happiness others experience when material blessings and prosperity abound and when everything seems to just fall in place. The joy we receive from the Lord is greater than that.
As we bring our attention to this greater joy, my personal prayer is that the Lord will speak truth to me that my joy in Him can be full regardless of how circumstances play out. That however long difficulties or uncertainties remain, the basis of my joy is not in how or when these things resolve. It is based solely in Him. So I need not despair. All I need for joy is Christ. And I always have Him. And He is the same in every moment, ready to pour in fullness of joy as I abide in Him.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in me…If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love,
just as I have kept the Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
John 15:4, 10-11
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”
We tend to live surrounded by lies that other things will satisfy and bring joy. That if we don’t have a certain career or relationship or new technology or house, if our lives or family don’t look a certain way, if we aren’t having certain types of “fun” or experiences, we will miss out on something that would make our lives so much better.
Sometimes these things are inherently sinful. Sometimes they aren’t bad in themselves, but they become our focus and we lose sight of how the Lord is working in our lives and the good He has in store – whatever that looks like. We lose sight of the Lord Himself. When our eyes become fixed on those other things and they become our pursuit, that is when we miss out. Because we’re missing out, right now, on the fullness of joy and the richness of satisfaction Jesus wants to spring up in our hearts.
Fullness of joy is found in His presence. His joy is experienced within us when we are abiding in Him, obeying His commands and abiding in His love. Living in Him, pressing into Him, and shedding the old life and the old lies that broke our relationship and turned us away from Him.
Our soul is satisfied as with fat and rich food as we intentionally focus our attention on the only One who will satisfy us to our very core. This satisfaction does not only come when things are going as we like. The man who wrote Psalm 63 was in the wilderness. Singing for joy in the shadow of the wings of his Lord, in whom he had taken refuge. Because our joy is found in relationship and the experienced steadfastness of our God who is with us and who upholds us always.
I pray this stirs hope in you this morning, and challenge if it is needed, that our joy and satisfaction come abounding from our relationship with Christ, with the God who reigns over all. That as we abide in Him, obey His commands, and choose to fix our attention on Him, we will experience the fullest joy, joy so abundant that the happiness others seek or feel in the gaining of all this world can offer cannot compare to the fullness of our joy and the richness of our satisfaction in Christ. Make Him your pursuit, the treasure you seek in your days far above anything else. He is very, very worth it.