Have you ever wondered why you have not been able to tap into the miraculous, fulfilling, and ultimate joy that the Bible talks about?
Perhaps your frustration stems from the fact that you have been looking for joy in all the wrong places. If you believe that an impressive college education, a spotless home or well-behaved children are your password into the kingdom of joy, you have it all wrong.
If you somehow think that losing weight, marrying the person of your dreams or being the owner of a passport filled with impressive stamps from exotic and far-away places will give you a money-back guarantee to perfect and perpetual joy, then once again, my friend, you have it all wrong. Joy is found in one place and one place only—”In His presence is fullness of joy!”
“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Ps. 16:7-8, NIV).
If you desire a joy so pervasive that it will trump every other circumstance in life, then you must spend time in the presence of the Lord. If you are desperate for a joy that will literally defy all of your life’s depressing situations, then you must choose to marinate in His presence. How do you do that? Well, it’s not that difficult. You choose to make it a priority to spend time reading your Bible every day, and you might turn on a worship CD and even sing along with it! If you are very bold and extremely desperate, you will choose to lift your hands in the air as an act of surrender while you worship.
Another exciting option is to spend time alone in prayer every day. Just you and Jesus. Simply close the door to your bedroom and kneel beside your bed as you have a heart-to-heart conversation with the one who knows you the best and loves you the most. When you get up off your knees and walk out your bedroom door to face the world, you will find that you are not alone. You have a new best friend to walk through the day with you. What is the name of your new BFF?
You can simply call this friend … joy!
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Ps. 51:10-12 NIV).
It’s when you accept Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior that a whole new world of previously unexperienced joy opens to you! God knew that life on planet Earth was not going to be perfect, but that we would experience heartache, sorrow and disappointment during our days here. To combat those days of excruciating pain, He gave us the gift of joy to lift us above the circumstances of earth-bound living! Joy is the ability to experience in our humanity the blessings that the Lord enjoys in His divinity.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Ps. 16:11, NIV).
Joy is a solid, identifying byproduct that results from an intimate relationship with the King of all Kings. When you make a willful decision to partner with Jesus and to submit to His Lordship and authority, you are deciding to receive joy into your life. Joy is not dependent upon your income bracket, the health of your relationships or your street address, but it is dependent upon your choice of HIM through all of life’s difficulties.
We all want to make a difference during the span of our life. Joy will strengthen your witness and you will have the capacity of changing someone else’s life. God needs a generation of joy-filled people who are willing to make a profound impact on the world in which we live.
I’m all in … how about you?
Carol McLeod is a best-selling author and speaker who encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Her commitment to reach women “by any means available” has made her a multimedia maven, with a thriving social media presence, 2 top podcasts, an upcoming television program, and even her own Carol McLeod Ministries mobile app. Her best-selling book, Rooms of a Mother’s Heart, won the 2022 Director’s Choice Award from the Blue Ridge Writers Conference. In 2021, Carol was honored to receive Oral Roberts University’s prestigious “Alumna of the Year” award for distinguished service to God.