So if it is true, why don't we always feel joyful?
I read this morning in Our Daily Bread about a woman who is full of joy not because her life is so great but because she knows God will fulfill all His promises in His time in her life. The writer says the woman's joy is "infectious."
I want infectious joy. But I admit I haven't been too joyful these days. And I wonder if it is because I am not living above my circumstances but getting stuck in them.
James tells us in his book, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
What is the goal of our lives? What's the goal of your life? Is it to please God or please people? Pleasing people is a losing battle for they will be pleased one day and condemning the next. It's like trying to live for money. The more you have the more you want. Or the less you have the more you grasp it. And eventually you lose your soul.
Jesus says in Luke 11:41 that, "give that which is within as charity (love), and then all things are clean for you."
What's inside of each of us? Our souls, our spirits. Jesus says to give of ourselves. Don't hold back. Lose ourselves in His work, in His love for Him and for those around us. It's in the giving we can find satisfaction.
This world is not our home but I think sometimes some of us try to make it our home. We seek after the things the world says we need. We seek after entertainment or thrills or addictions and we wonder why we feel so empty. Maybe we seek after a certain feeling.
Have you ever felt God's presence? What a powerful feeling God's presence gives. I want to sense Him again in that powerful way. Yet, if we open ourselves up we can sense Him right where we are at. He is that Peaceful Silence. He is the Wind Rushing through the trees. He sends the cold rain. He dries up the mud. He paints the sky in different colors throughout the day.
I asked my youngest daughter today that if I die what will she remember me teaching her. She gave me a nice answer. Then she was worried I was dying. I reassured her I had no plans to anytime soon. As a mom my life is woven so tightly with my children's. I want to see them all serving Jesus passionately in the lives God leads them in. And if they aren't there yet I wonder if I could have done something else to get them there. But we all are on our own journeys. And God tells me not to worry.
How can we put God first in our lives? What does that mean? If we put Him first, we can rise above our circumstances and even step back and appreciate the things God is teaching us daily. We can remember He is in control and He's allowed whatever is in our lives to occur. All of it is for our very best. He wants us all to shine for Him. When we do that joy will be full.
This day truly seek Him. Seek Him in the moment. Talk to Him. He's right there. If you've lost your joy ask Him to restore it. As Jesus said no one can steal it from you. Tell Him you want to see Him. Tell Him you want to feel Him. Tell Him you want Him to use your life in some way today. He will. We can do anything for Jesus -- we can do our daily chores for Him. We can take care of our families for Him. We can be engaged with others for Him. We can recognize opportunities He gives us and take them. You are so vital to His mission, to His love. Don't doubt that. Don't doubt that at all.