One of my favorite times of the day is the time between awakening and getting out of bed. If I don’t have to get right up, I enjoy staying in bed for awhile to talk to the Lord. It’s a …
One of my favorite times of the day is the time between awakening and getting out of bed. If I don’t have to get right up, I enjoy staying in bed for awhile to talk to the Lord. It’s a time to rejoice in His presence before the day starts – a perfect time where there have been no mistakes, no sin, no trials, no bad news yet.
Recently one morning after enjoying this time, I was met with a very upsetting circumstance that brought me right down. I tried to let it go and surrender it to the Lord, to no avail. I had a time of prayer with a couple of friends and continued to ask the Lord to help me, but the situation still consumed my thoughts.
After our prayer time, the Lord said to us that from the time we were tiny babies, He has been bottling our tears. We figured they must be pretty big bottles as we’ve lived a long time! He said He sees our pain and sorrows, but He also sees our joys. That one little word – joy – broke through and changed everything.
I kept thinking the words, “the joy set before me.” That morning God had set His joy before me in abundance, free for the taking. After drinking deeply of that joy, I had let the enemy steal it. Now it was up to me to take it back, which the Lord helped me to do. I shifted my focus off the situation and back onto the Lord and the joy He desired to pour out upon me.
Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. The joy God gives us is not dependent upon our circumstances but upon our dependence on Jesus, the true source of our joy. There is no sorrow, worry, doubt or fear that can steal our joy when we entrust our lives into God’s hands and trust Him to care for us. Each day we can choose to walk in joy.
I thought about Psalm 23:5, that God prepares a feast for us in the presence of our enemies. He sets a table for us filled with delights where our cup overflows with His blessings. Joy is one of those blessings available to us that we can feast on while all the enemy can do is stand back and watch.
The portion of scripture I camped on that day, “the joy set before me,” is part of Hebrews 12:2, which speaks of Jesus going to the cross. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus was able to endure the shame of the cross because of the joy that was set before Him, the joy awaiting Him as He accomplished the goal of the cross, our salvation. Verse three says that as we consider what Jesus endured for us, we will not grow weary, lose heart, or give up.
The best way we can hold onto the joy God gives us is by cultivating a thankful heart. As we keep our focus upon the Lord, who He is and all He has done for us, we can practice gratitude on a daily basis and have our cups overflow with His joy.
Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 482-5300.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here