DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - HAVE WE LOST OUR JOY? Part 3.
Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock ... the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool's living waters. - Robert Browning.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. - John 15:11.
As we continue to discuss whether we have lost our joy as Christians today? We ask the question… Have the sins and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians, I know they have lost their JOY! In the famous words of a Christian author who wrote the book… ‘We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should!
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of "the greatest justice since John Marshall." At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers." - Today In The Word.
What has happened, that so many should lose the joy of the Lord? This week we are looking into what causes this and how to restore our JOY! Yesterday in Part 2 we realised that Joy Grows Out Of Real Worship, and today we discover that …
JOY COMES FROM BEING IN GOD'S PRESENCE
David’s heart was glad and his whole being rejoiced when he found the secret to joy… I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. - Psalm 16:8-9.
David wanted to be in the presence of God 24/7, where he felt secure and protected, and we should endeavour to do the same, not only to be in His presence, but to be aware of it 24/7. Then we can rejoice with our whole being! Hallelujah! Praise His wonderful name!
True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God's presence within us. As we contemplate his daily presence, we will find contentment. As we understand the future he has for us, we will experience joy. Let's not base our life on circumstances, but on God.
The well-known theologian Charles Hodge wrote about his early years at Princeton: "It was my privilege to be the pupil-assistant of Professor Joseph Henry, the illustrious scientist. When, for the first time, electric signals were sent from point to point, the earth itself being used for the return current, Professor Henry put me at one end of the circuit, while he stood directing the experiments at the other.
I can well remember the wonderful care with which he arranged them. Very often, when the testing moment came, he would raise his hand in adoring reverence and call upon me to uncover my head and worship in silence. He would say, 'Because God is here, I am about to ask Him a question.'" - Charles Hodge.
Not only does God want us to HAVE joy, but complete JOY with eternal pleasures! You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Ps 16:11.
Not a little bit of joy, not a joy that is tainted, not counterfeit joy, but real joy, completely satisfying, untainted, understandable, a joy that will not be undermined, by the feeling that is must soon come to an end! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we serve!
John R. W. Stott once admitted the truth that many of us have felt but failed to confess: "The thing I know will give me the deepest joy -- namely, to be alone and unhurried in the presence of God, aware of His presence, my heart open to worship Him -- is often the thing I least want to do."
LET US SEEK THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND RECEIVE DEEP JOY!
Loving Father, I thank you for the love that you have for me, I thank you that Jesus said His joy is in me! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to seek your presence 24/7, and help me Lord to be aware of your presence, as you continue to fill me with your complete joy, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!