“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C.S. Lewis
- Can you think of any better way to live this year than filled with the Joy of the Lord? Get into your cozy spot and get ready to meet with Jesus! He wants to warm your heart!
- Read Psalm 16. Meditate on verse 11 and write it in your journal.
Filled with Joy
Sometimes I just need more joy in my life. Don’t you? Joy doesn’t just happen by coincidence; it is intentional. It cannot be manufactured by ourselves for a long period of time. Joy is a fruit that is produced by the Holy Spirit. So then, how do we get joy?
God is so good to have given us His Word. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 116:105) and contains everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). I tell my children that the Bible is our instruction manual for life. When we have questions about life, we go to God’s Word and read it for answers. Let’s dive into His Word to find out how to receive this life-changing gift of Joy.
Joy comes from abiding in His presence.
To receive joy, we must enter into the presence of the Lord and become intimately acquainted with Him. Invite His Holy Spirit to be with you. He is always faithful to meet us right where we are when we seek Him. Simply talk to Him and listen intently. Meditate on His living Word. Worship Jesus through singing. Write Him love notes in your journal and ask Him to write back to you.
We recognize that He is near to us throughout the day, not just in feeling but in knowing. Abiding in Jesus means we have a constant life-giving connection to Him. Jesus describes this connection in John 15:5, “I and the Vine and you are the branches…” Have you ever seen a branch that grows from the vine and then removes itself to produce alone? It just doesn’t work that way. The branch must remain attached in order to live, grow, and bear fruit, and so shall we.
In John 15:11, Jesus explains, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Do you desire to be full of joy?
Joy comes from time with other believers.
Certain anointed friendships remind me of Paul speaking to Timothy when he says, “I long to see you so that I can be filled with joy” (2 Timothy 1:4). Paul also writes, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:11-12).
Have you ever noticed how God shows up while you are spending time with Christ-filled friends, talking and praying about what the Lord is doing? I love how tangible His presence is in these times with other Christians – how I am spurred on with joy and excitement about His workings in other people’s lives. Try it! Be intentional about meeting with or calling Christian friends. Talk about what you are learning, how God is speaking to you, and the amazing things He is doing in your life.
Joy comes from our obedience to God.
“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws, and search for him with all their hearts” (Psalm 119:1-2).
God does not urge us to walk in obedience to Him because He wants to restrict us. He actually created us with the need to obey Him. If we are living outside of His will for our lives, we will not have joy. We can learn from the Israelites that God’s way, not ours, leads to perpetual joy.
King Hezekiah was a godly king. He desired to eliminate idolatry and bring Israel back to God. For the feast of the Passover, King Hezekiah called on the Israelites for a time of worship and feasting that lasted for seven days. They were so full of joy that they decided to continue for seven more days! For the Israelites who chose to leave their idols and selfish way of living, “There was great joy in the city” (2 Chronicles 30:26).
Joy comes from knowledge of eternity in Heaven.
The books of the Bible are full of hints of Heaven. I have always loved studying the book of Revelation in particular. It nudges us from things of less importance and draws us near to the Father’s ultimate timeline. Pondering eternity has a way of putting things into perspective. It reminds us that life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then fades away. God has “set eternity in the hearts of man” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). As Christians, we will never be completely satisfied on earth, but heaven is what we were created for! It’s so exciting if you really think about it! We are fully grateful for the days on earth God has given us, but we must keep in mind that whatever lovely or wearisome time we experience presently cannot compare to the glorious time that’s coming. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Studying the Bible and reading what God has to say about Heaven brings a soul full of joy; having an eternal perspective helps us to keep our joy.
Questions to Ponder:
What brings you joy?
How can you add more joy to your life? Are any of these spiritual practices currently out of balance?
Pick a time this week to go over this study with your children. Make sure to include the Bible verses. Teach them where Christians are to find joy. Discuss how these principles can be better built into your daily routine as a family.