July 27, 2015

“Your reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.”

– Psalm 16:11

Can you remember the most joyful celebration you have ever witnessed? Maybe it was celebrating a State Championship or an unexpected win over a superior opponent. It could have been witnessing one of your athletes accomplish a feat that they, and maybe you too, thought was impossible. What made that moment so joyful? Sports are always providing us with joyful moments. An overwhelming excitement results when we succeed. Success usually brings happiness to athletes, coaches and fans, but are joy and happiness the same thing?

The Apostle Paul teaches us a great deal about joy. If anyone had a reason NOT to be joyful, it might be Paul. He was beaten and stoned. Three times he was shipwrecked. His ministry brought him hunger, thirst, imprisonment and great personal hardship. Yet Paul remained upbeat and positive. Like Paul, if we are walking close to God, we can have joy in our hearts no matter what is happening to us or around us. Joy is not based on emotional feelings or events. It’s an ongoing certainty and feeling of peace that no matter what life throws at us, God is still in control. We must never forget that God loves us more than we can comprehend and His love is unconditional. This week, let’s be joyful in all circumstances. Let’s pray for the courage and commitment to make joy part of our daily lives.

Father God, I pray for joy today over happiness. Help me to see that joy comes from walking with You and not from the successes of this world. Help me to keep my focus on You. Amen.

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