Let’s take a few moments to recap the series on joy to date. It’s been two months since I last posted, and the series was left unfinished.
It’s my hope tomorrow to begin sharing the remaining posts intended as part of the journey of sincerely experiencing the joy of the Lord in our every day, trouble-filled lives.
To date the series has included:
What follows is just a brief synopsis of the highlights from each of those to prepare for the remainder of the series on Joy in the Lord.
Joy in the Lord | The Series on Joy
Can we be honest with each other? How about just to ourselves? Do we have joy in the Lord that surpasses all understanding? Or, do we just say we do?
- Is our “joy in the Lord” just a mental exercise, or is it something that without a shadow of a doubt permeates our entire existence?
- When we are living through difficulties of any sort, do we turn immediately to God because, in our proven experience, even then and there we can find joy? Or, do we grumble, complain, give up, and perhaps accuse God?
- How about when everything is going great, do we continuously turn to God to elevate our joyfulness to even higher levels?
Truthfully, most would say that such “Joy in the Lord” is beyond them. But, why is that? Why can we not grasp the type of joy repeatedly expounded upon in Scripture?
It is because such elation does not come from within ourselves!True and lasting joy comes as a gift from God. It is not of ourselves.Click To Tweet
- It is a gift of God.
- More than that, it is a promise of God.
- And, God is infinitely more ready to give us the gift than we are to receive it.
So, what can we do to prepare ourselves to honestly experience consistent joy in the Lord independent of our circumstances?
Remember God | The Series on Joy
If we want to continually dwell in a state with our “mouths wide open” to receive God’s blessing and joy, we have to determine that we will, in both the good and bad times, focus upon God. We begin by actively remembering what we know and have experienced of God.
As I have been dealing with my new experience of living under the diagnosis of a major depressive disorder, I have noticed two things that consistently help elevate me in the low times:
- Remembering the Personal Things God Has Done in my life.
- Reading About what God Has Done in the Lives of Others
Recall the Promises of God | The Series on Joy
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
- Those we can expect met both today and in the day’s to come
It’s not rocket science. I know that. You realize it too. But, daily time in Scripture is one of the biggest struggles yet one of the most vital parts of the Christian’s life.
It’s in Scripture that we will see God not only makes promises to his people, but He is faithful to keep them. As we persevere in our study of God’s Word, we will also begin to understand 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 wrong theologies, accusations that God has failed in His promises, and anger towards God.
Prioritize Praise and Thanksgiving | The Series on Joy
Praise and thanksgiving are an act of obedience and a result of our relationship with God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1. The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.
Scripture tells us:The best way to thank and praise God is with a life wholly devoted to obeying His will.Click To Tweet
A step beyond obedience is our motivation. Are we obeying because we have to, or are we doing so because we want to?
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome…
1 John 5:3. The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.
If being obedient to God is a burden in our lives, we are missing vital elements in our relationship with Him. When we love someone, there is a desire to do those things which please them even if it means going out of our way to do so.
See, when it comes to our relationship with God, nothing is compartmentalized. Everything works together because it requires the entirety of who we are. If we desire to do anything other than praise and thank God through obedient living, we will not experience the Joy of the Lord because we are not walking in right relationship with Him.Joy in the Lord comes from being obedient to Him. That is praise and thanksgiving pleasing to Him.Click To Tweet
The Next Step | The Series on Joy
So, that recaps where we have been in this series. Tomorrow, we will begin to look at the next step. To be honest, we usually skip right past the actions detailed above to pounce on this next piece which is to ask God to fulfill His promises.
I hope you will join the conversation. What has been your experience with:
- Remembering God?
- Recalling His promises?
- Prioritizing praise and thanksgiving?