Finding JOY in every step of the journey

16 Sep

May09-July09Vacation 190Jesus saved me not only to allow my entrance into Heaven but to bring JOY to every step of the journey that will get me there!

But it’s easy, oh so easy, to allow joy to be suppressed by current circumstances, past sins, a desire still unfulfilled, or any number of things that life brings with it.  Something as simple as waking up late can steal the JOY from my day if I’m not careful.

So with JOY seemingly so evading how then can I ensure that it is present in my life not just when things are “good” but at ALL times?

I know you’re probably tired of hearing it, but the first key to unlocking the JOY that is oftentimes locked tightly away under disappointments and burdens is time alone with Jesus. Jesus admonished us to abide in Him so that we can possess this JOY. Not only will we have JOY, but He tells us that our JOY will be “FULL!” (John 15:11)

Secondly, another key to finding JOY in the journey regardless of where it has you today is to learn contentment. You’ll notice that I said learn. The Apostle Paul had to learn this attribute too. He tells us “… for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Learning takes time! It’s not something that comes over night!

The last 4 years have been a continual learning experience in the area of contentment and JOY! I have found that the latter is really dependent upon the first.

During my single years, I had a choice to make. I could choose to sulk, complain and waste those precious years or I could choose to find JOY in them. To the flesh, the first was easier. However, I found the journey much sweeter when I sought the Lord to show me JOY every day.

He has a way of enabling us to look at life differently. Through Him, I could look at those years as years of preparation and growth, as years of unhindered fellowship with my Lord and distraction free time with my family.

Through Him, JOY can be found even in the most hopeless of situations.

Through Him, the overwhelmed mother can find JOY in the busyness of her day when she realizes that her little ones will only be little once! She can enjoy reading the same book over and over again. She can find joy in the countless questions her toddler asks. JOY is there if we look for it.

Through Him, the elderly widow can find JOY in her day when she looks at the precious years God gave her with her soul-mate and the health that she still enjoys. She can find joy in her grandchildren, in serving her church through her faithful prayer life.

Through Him, the weary missionary can find JOY though planted seeds have yet to yield when he is reminded of God’s promise to give the increase. He can find joy in the freedom He’s been given to share the Gospel though fruit isn’t yet visible!

Through Him, I can find JOY in my day though the alarm clock rang too early and the day ahead seems demanding when I realize that I’ve been blessed with strength enough to get up and a place of service to be active in. I can find joy in my students and the small part of their education that’s been entrusted to my care. I can find joy in the papers that need to be graded. I can find joy in the journey.

God is His goodness gives us plenty of blessings in which to find JOY! I am STILL and will EVER be learning what it  means to be contented and joyful in this wonderful journey He is leading me on!

Where can your JOY be found today?

 “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18

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