Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Sometimes joy seems like an elusive sensation, even in the midst of a beautiful summer day. Why is that? For each of us the reasons vary. It can depend on the burdens that we’re currently carrying. Often we feel that no matter how hard we try to live joyful lives, the world around us always pops the bubble of our happiness. And for some of us, past history or behavior patterns tend to make us drift toward a negative, even gloomy way of thinking.
The good news is that God can help us overcome these very real forces that we deal with, day-in and day-out. In John 10:10 we find an awesome insight into the Lord’s plans for us: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus didn’t hide the fact that we would experience problems in our lives. Actually, He describes the existence of our enemy, Satan, who like a thief wants to harm us-including robbing us of the joy we can experience throughout life’s journey. Yet I’d like you to concentrate on the second half of that verse: the Lord wants us to experience a full, satisfying life!
Notice Jesus didn’t say “One day in Heaven you’ll get to have a great life.” That will happen for all who believe in Him, but He also promises an amazingly abundant life that starts in the here and now.
I spent the last several years studying the topic of joy, partly because I found myself drifting back into some patterns of sadness that I’d experienced in my past. Through my research and time in Scripture, the Lord helped me find His path toward a more joyful life. I wrote about this personal journey in my recent book, I Choose Joy! I also discuss some of the 300-plus verses where God specifically entourages everyone to enjoy the life He has given them. This new journey with the Lord has dramatically changed the way I look at circumstances, other people, and my purpose here on Earth. I’m convinced that no matter what your current situation may be, God can help you discover a more joy-filled, satisfying life too.
Summer seems like a perfect time to focus on something positive, so why not work on adding more joy to your life? I’d urge you to spend time each day reading the Bible, especially looking for many of the passages that talk about joyful living. If you’d like a copy of I Choose Joy! for yourself or someone you care about, please check out our Sonkist Resources section. It can also be found at Amazon in print and Kindle form.
Most of all, as we are reminded in Psalm 32:11, joy is a choice. Your choice. My choice. So, let’s rejoice and be glad in the Lord-and choose joy this summer!
Thought for the Summer
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.