The other day I sat with a dozen businessmen, as we shared the Word and talked about our lives. One thing that struck me was how over-burdened and weighed down most everyone seemed to be: Too much to do, pressure from business, concern over their children, grinding commutes. You name it. What was missing was joy, pure and simple.
I just returned from 10 days in Europe, and one thing that impressed me is that somehow the folks in that part of the world have learned to live life better than we Americans. Yes, their cars are smaller, they are living in a post-Christian era, so-called, and for the most part they dont have as much disposable income as we do. But they seem to know a bit more about smelling the roses on their way through life. It is interesting that they tend to look at us as well-meaning, but materialistic barbarians who are hell bent on getting more and bigger of everything; folks who have no idea of how to celebrate and live life. I hate to admit it, but I think they might just be right.
Back to joy: God wired us for it! We were created to celebrate Him and to celebrate life. Yet, there is so little of it in most of our lives. We fret, we rush, we worry, we grouse, we covet, we over-commitand we live on the daily, ubiquitous, overpowering TREADMILL.
It seems that one of Satans great strategies is to dry us up, burn us out, and generally make us angry, cynical and isolated. In a word, rob us of our God-given joy.
Consider these wonderful Scriptures that speak of the joy God intends for us to experience in our lives:
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psa. 16:11)
I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. (Psa. 16:8, 9)
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul (Psa. 31:7)
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. (Psa. 33:1-3).
Jesus: "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that [the disciples] may have the full measure of my joy within them. (Jn. 17:13)
The fruit of the Spirit is joyRejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!…Be joyful always. (Phil. 4:4; 1 Thes. 5:16; Gal. 5:22)
I can just hear some of you saying, Right DwightFor me it will be joy in another life. You have no idea of my situation. You are probably right. But the Lord knows! Perhaps our prayer should be, Lord would you restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psa. 51:12)Views: 162