We look for joy, but can never seem to find it. If and when we do find it, then we can’t manage to hold onto it. Joy is that miraculous and fulfilling gift that the Holy Spirit flows into our lives that enables us to face whatever life throws our way with hope, optimism, confidence and excitement. Joy is that special gift of God that everyone wants, but that so few are willing to really work and live for.
It may be that your biggest problem is not that you are not looking for joy, but that you are looking for joy in all of the wrong places. We try to find it in our achievements, goals and ambitions, but no matter how hard we try or what we accomplish, it just never seems to be there. We often look to others and what they do for us or what they do not do to us for our joy, but this often leaves us worse off than when we began. We sometimes even look deep within ourselves, only to discover that this is not the place, even though it sounds good.
Joy is found in one place and one place only. Joy is found in the presence of God. Psalm 16:11 says “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.” Joy that is bigger, better and stronger than any other thing in your life can only flow from one source and that is the pure source of His presence. If you want joy that will allow you to face and overcome even the worst that life will throw your way, then you must journey into and learn to stay in His presence.
Sometimes when I am really wanting to show my “mad skills” on the grill, I will take a piece of meat and marinate it in some liquid and spices. I literally leave the meat in the liquid for a long period of time, so that it can soak up all of the flavor that makes such a difference. In the cooking world this is known as “marinating” the meat.
We need to marinate in God’s joy by living our lives in His presence. We do this by 1.) Making it a priority to invest time in God’s Word everyday. One of the tools that I use to help me with this is youversion.com, this online Bible has a whole series of reading plans that help me to get in the Word, stay focused and enjoy His presence. 2.) Worship God Who is more than worthy on a regular basis. I have an iPod nano that I have programmed with some of my favorite music and I have a section of songs that immediately take me to a place of worship, where I can enjoy sweet communion and fellowship with my Creator. 3.) Spend time in prayer. This is a great gift that God has given to us, but it is also one of the most unused gifts. Prayer is simply having conversation with God. It means that we talk and listen. This conversation is evidence of His presence and joy can’t help but flow through it into and through our lives.
Time spent is God’s Word opens the door for worship. Real and genuine worship brings us into His presence. In His presence we have the opportunity for conversation, which will fill out lives with His joy. Hope you enjoy the joy of His presence today!