Good Friday morning, sweet friends! I just want you to know you bless me big time! My heart smiles every time I think of you and I really wish I could give y’all a big hug! I hope you’ll settle for a cyberspace hug instead, but I want you to know I’m thankful for each of you and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting your emails and how you honor me with the privilege of praying for and with you through some stuff!
And life has got some stuff, doesn’t it!
Oh, and before we get into today’s promise, I want you to know that the publisher emailed me and said my study on Ecclesiastes is due out in the next week or so. I’ll let you know when it’s out for real, but I just had to send a shout out of praise! Our God certainly does exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or think! I’m so thankful He calls us to live beyond ourselves!
|Photo from Potobucket|
John Calvin once said, “You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy.”
Life is a beautiful thing. It is rich and sweet and full. But the reality is that we all face difficult days and painful places in our lives – and never is the promise of joy so treasured as when we walk the the valley of dispair.
God’s promise of Joy is for His people and is based on His presence. Psalms 16:11 tells us His presence assures us of overflowing joy.
For those whose hearts are hurting, He promises to replace their mourning with the oil of joy. (Isaiah 61:3)
Psalms 4:7 tells us the joy God gives is greater than living a lucrative life.
Right on the heels of Jesus’ command to abide in Him in John 15, we find these words… “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11
In Nehemiah 8:10, we’re told the joy of the Lord is our strength.
Life isn’t always easy. Pain and heartache happen. But as Sam Storms wrote in His book, Pleasures Evermore, “Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.”
God promises us joy for the journey because He is our joy.
If you’re His child, sweet friend, He is with you. Psalms 139 reminds us that there is no where that we can go to escape His presence.
When we walk through the valley of barrenness, He is with us.
When we climb the mountains of fruitfulness, He is there.
When we’re alone in the wilderness, He is with us.
When we lose a loved one and our hearts hurt like crazy, He is there.
When we enjoy His beautiful creation and experience the thrill of living, He is with us.
When we feel like we can’t take another step or even catch our breath, He is there.
AND IN HIS PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY!
Are you longing for “Joy unspeakable that won’t go away”? Run to Him, bask in His presence and experience the joy that is already yours. Let Him shower you with His joy, sweet friend and your heart will learn to smile again!
Do you need joy for the journey today? Has life sapped your joy lately? Do you have a joy story to share that would encourage those who are walking through a dark place in their lives right now? Can I pray for those of you who are hurting?