Joy is from God and not ourselves. To have joy in the Lord requires remembering all he is doing and remembering his promises.
This post is the third in the series Joy in the Lord. So before we begin, let’s remember where we have been.
- In Joy in the Lord, we admitted that always experiencing it, despite our circumstances, is beyond our ability. Genuine and lasting joy only comes from God. Recognizing that, the process of attaining God’s gift of joy requires us to prepare ourselves to accept it.
- Remembering God and all that he has done and is doing in our lives is a piece of that preparation. We do not need to take what God is doing for granted, and we need to recognize that everything in our lives is a gift from Him.
Now we come to another piece of the preparation to receive enduring Joy in the Lord from God himself. We need to be actively engaged in remembering his promises.
Finding God’s Promises | Remembering His Promises
God’s promises are in His Word. If we are not daily taking the time to read the Bible, how do we expect to know:
- God’s Promises
- What promises he has already fulfilled
- The promises we can expect met both today and in the day’s to come
It’s not rocket science. I know that. You know it too. But, daily time in Scripture is one of the biggest struggles of the Christian’s life. Everything in our schedule does its best to crowd that time out of our life.
We cannot allow that to happen!
We need to guard that time jealously. Even if it requires changing routines, letting go of habits, cutting down on activities, or anything else, daily Scripture study is a must for someone who desires to know and experience God in their lives. There is no way around it.
Seeing God’s Faithfulness | Remembering His Promises
It’s in Scripture that we will see God not only makes promises to his people, but He is faithful to keep them. From the Old Testament through the New, promises come to fruition. The most exciting part is there is still more to come!
God has made promises to us. He has proven his faithfulness. He is not going to let us down.
Understanding God’s Promises | Remembering His Promises
The other thing that we will begin to learn as we persevere in our study of God’s Word is the intent of His Promise.When we don't understand the context and purpose of God's promises, they're easy to misinterpret.Click To Tweet
Such lack has propagated “Name it and claim it” theologies, accusations that God has failed in His promises, and anger towards God.
God is not our Genie in a Bottle. He does not promise that our days upon this earth will be easy let alone a continuous fulfillment of our earthly desires.
What He does promise is if we align our hearts, minds, and desires to Him above all else, then He will:
- Provide the needs in our desire for Him
- Our Success in His Purpose is guaranteed.
- Life, treasure, and blessing beyond all earthly comprehension will be ours, not in this decaying world, but in an eternal realm.
God promises to adopt us as his children and to correct us as only a loving father would. He guarantees us that no matter what life brings, He will be with us through every moment of it. God will be a continuous source of strength and courage, especially when our ability fails.
Read His Word! Study it! Commit it to your life!
Journal His Promises | Remembering His Promises
I was never one for keeping a journal. You would think otherwise since I like to write, but I never could figure out what to write about my day. As I have started on this journey of preparation to accept the gift of Joy in the Lord with “mouth wide open,” journals have taken on a new meaning. I’m now maintaining two separate ones:
- Detailing what God is doing in my life, day by day, big and small.
- Recording His promises.
When it comes to journaling about the promises of God, I note those already fulfilled and how the outcome is almost always greater than the expectation even though the journey to the outcome was difficult.
For those promises coming true now, I record who receives it and why. Typically, it requires faithfulness and steadfastness to God’s purpose and direction.
Then for the future promises, I account for their glory being greater than my expectation, the journey to them being down the narrow road, fraught with struggle, but the worthiness of the trip because of His proven faithfulness.
the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time
Excerpt from Titus 1:1-2. The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.
Journaling about God’s promises is not just making a list of them, but studying to understand their truth and applying the instruction set on receiving them to our living.
Joy in the Lord
To this point, we have just been talking about how to prepare ourselves to receive the real joy that surpasses our understanding and circumstances. There’s more to it, but I can tell you from personal experience, engaging in remembering God and His promises has made a big difference in my life as I continue to struggle with a major depressive disorder and a general anxiety disorder. As I focus on God, my day becomes less about me and more about Him, less about my ability and more about His in me.
I hope you will not just read these posts, but that you will join me in this journey of preparation to receive the fulness of the God’s gift of ‘Joy in the Lord.’