“Could the joy of life be found in simple gratitude. And is gratitude as simple as perspective?” -Twila Paris
Sometimes, the troubles of life seem especially loud. Last week was one of those weeks. It’s in those times that I have come to appreciate that the “joy of the Lord” really is our strength. Like so many things in the Kingdom of God, joy is a choice rather than a feeling. The command to “rejoice always” isn’t a denial of the very real heartaches of life; instead it is an invitation to step into a realm where joy is always accessible regardless of our circumstances or feelings.
In recognizing my own need for the Source of joy, I was drawn again to Psalm 16, which is one of my favorites. It is a great place to find heaven’s perspective and a reminder of the joy that never fades. Here are verses 5-11 from The Passion Translation:
Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
Thank you, Lord, that I get to choose You. More than anything this world can offer, You are my inheritance. You are the prize and reward I seek. You are my highest joy. In You, I have all and abound.
I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.
Abba, I can rest secure knowing my future is in Your hands. As Corrie ten Boom said, “I can trust an unknown future to a known God,” Help me to reach for your extended hand each and every day, trusting that You will lead me. Your timing is always perfect!
Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
All along the way there is beauty in the journey. Open my eyes and heart to the daily joys of walking on the path of life with You.
I’m overwhelmed by the privileges that come with following you, for you have given me the best!
No good thing do You withhold from those who walk uprightly! Your astounding kindness and patience toward me really are so overwhelming. Who am I Lord, that You have granted me the favor of Your face and continue to surround me with the beauty of Your peace?
The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more, for your whispers in the night give me wisdom, showing me what to do next.
Even when I rest, You are still working. I love that You do in the night what You can’t do in the day and that each morning when I awake, I am still in Your presence.
Because you are close to me and always available, my confidence will never be shaken, for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.
Where can I go from Your presence? You are the One–the only One–who never, ever leaves me, not even for a moment. I am secure and confident in Your ongoing help and in our unbroken communion.
My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure.
When I think of these things, my heart is ignited with passion! How is it possible that I have been given such favor and such a delightful inheritance? I can rest secure in the knowledge of Your unchanging love and care.
For you will not abandon me to the realm of death, nor will you allow your Holy One to experience corruption.
When taking up my cross and following You requires choosing to die–to attitudes, actions, even to dreams and desires–You never leave me in the place of death. Your resurrection life always redeems and restores.
For you bring me a continual revelation of resurrection life, the path to the bliss that brings me face-to-face with you.
And it is resurrection life that brings me into an ongoing revelation of Your presence. The most glorious of all revelations is the bliss of deep, abiding communion with You, because…
In Your presence IS fullness of joy!
Here is this morning’s FB live video: