Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Finding Real Joy in 2017

Where do you find your joy? From your circumstances? Your family? Your job? Your bank balance? Your church? Your vacation? Maybe from your ministry?
All of those things have the potential to become “un-joyful” and let us down: Circumstances change. Families disappoint. Jobs become tedious. Bank balances drop. Churches don’t do things the way we want. Vacations end. Ministries become stale.

Let's take a step back. If we're honest, we allow our consumer-driven culture to influence us in the ways we seek joy. We look to possessions, conveniences, latest & greatest gadgets, wi-fi speed, food, favorite team win-loss record, and a host of other "things" our culture tells we need to have to supply our joy.

But let's even take another step back and see how our "me first" culture influences us in our quest for real and lasting joy. We are looking to fulfill our happiness, our joy, our needs. We want it for us, and we want it for us now.

Where can we find true, full, and overwhelming joy? In the Presence of God. Consider Psalm 16:11: 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.

Notice that the Psalmist isn’t referring to a quick prayer of desperation when things don’t go our way. Rather, he says You make known to me the path of life. Finding Joy in God’s Presence is a continual pursuit on the path of life. It’s not a quick-fix bandaid when things don't go our way.

Notice also that the Psalmist points us to God’s right hand as a place to abide, rather than a place to find quick fixes. Instead of looking to see what is in God’s hand for us, we need to climb into His hand and rest.

The fullness of joy is only found in the Presence of God. We can't over-explain this truth. We can't make it what it is not. We can only accept that true joy is only found in the Presence of God.

And that true joy, found in the Presence of God, isn't there for the fulfillment of our needs and desires. Rather, it is a benefit of continually walking in God's Presence. We should seek to consistently walk in God's Presence simply because that's what we were created to do. LeadWell!

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