How do we find true JOY?

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A conversation I had recently got me thinking about JOY.

Where do we find our joy? What makes us feel joyful?

If we seek joy in the things that we accomplish or achieve, or in how well the day goes according to plan – we will always fall short. Plans will change and projects will fail. When we are relying on those things to bring us joy, we are so easily shaken! But if we seek true joy, it can only be found in the One who is completely unshakable – Jesus! We can only have true joy when Christ is the center of our life and of each day.

Sometimes in order to find that joy we are seeking, we have to be still and rest. It can be so hard to find it in the hustle and bustle of our days as we strive to get things done.

Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

Some versions translate that as Cease striving, and know that I am God”.

Cease striving. Stop trying so hard. Let it go.

Trust in Him. Let Him be in control. He’s got you and he’s got this.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

(Psalm 23:2-3)

Notice that he makes us lie down in green pastures. Have you ever pushed yourself so hard that you ended up sick and had to spend some days in bed healing? If we don’t take the time to rest in Him, he will often make us stop and rest, one way or another. It’s so much better when we can choose to take a rest day (or a few) and spend extra time letting the Lord restore our soul as we communicate with him.

Another example I love is about Elijah.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah said, “God, I’ve had enough! I want to die!” so God let him take a nap and then gave him some food. Then he took another nap, and God told him to eat some more or else his journey would be too hard for him.

After 2 rounds of napping and eating, he had the strength & energy to do what he needed to do.

Never underestimate the value in a nap & a snack! God’s provision comes in many forms, and he will supply all of our needs!

Make some time to sit with God and let him refresh you. Read his word, listen to praise music, enjoy some time in nature, and talk to him. He knows your needs and he just wants you to come to him.  His joy is a gift waiting for you to choose to accept it. Choose to find your joy in the fact that God created you, loves you, chose you, and wants a relationship with you. You are a child of the one true King, and you are loved deeply, no matter what you accomplish or achieve. Find your joy in knowing that God is in control. There is nothing you can do apart from him, so cease striving and let him lead.

We cannot add a single hour to our life by worrying (Matt 6:27), and neither can we be more productive when we are stressed and exhausted. So, take time to rest and let his peace wash over you.

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