Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Journey to Joy

Red Leaf Trees Near the Road

On my personal spiritual journey, I experienced exciting hilltops and deep, dark valleys. Both require immense determination, because of the uphill battles to reach the mountain tops, and the scary shadows of the valleys.

My melancholy personality often wars against the joy of the Spirit within me. I feel so deeply sad in my soul about so much in life…suffering, the unsaved, wars, hunger, threatening weather and various other negative aspects of life on our planet.

"Mourning is the seed," as Basil says, "out of which the flower of spiritual joy grows." God promised to comfort those who mourn (Isaiah 57:18). Therefore, there is no reason that the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my spirit cannot override this natural penchant in my personality for melancholia.

As I put my hope in God, and I praise Him as my Savior and my God, the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It flows out of my spirit, infiltrates my soul and shines out through my countenance (Psalm 43:5)

Joy follows forgiveness and gratitude. As we praise the Lord for His forgiveness and show Him our gratitude for all He did, is doing and will do for us, His joy can flow through us without the restrictions and boundaries of dependence on this world.

God sheds His light on His Saints and His joy in the heart of the upright. We can rejoice in the Lord, if we walk in Christ's righteousness, and continually praise His holy name (Psalm 97:11-12).

Prayer:
Father God, this is the day that You have made; help us to rejoice and to find joy in it regardless of our circumstances (Psalm 118:24). Heartache crushes our spirit and drains our body, soul and spirit of its joy. It may take us years to grieve the losses we have in this lifetime; and some we may never fully recover from, unless we place our full trust in You.

Your presence in our life gives us a happy heart, which results in a cheerful face (Proverbs 15:13). You exalt our head above our enemies that often surround us, and we must give You the sacrifice of shouts of joy, especially when we do not feel like it (Psalm 27:8); because You are our Rock and our everlasting Savior.

Thought for the Day:
Joy comes when we come to love God more than anything this world has to offer; joy in our soul rises from our personal sense of God's love and favor. - Psalm 118:24


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