The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength Part I

I have been struggling with many things lately. I have a pretty extensive list I could type out, but don't we all? Most do. Some have found their way above the waves, above the noise, but not many, not yet. When we look at something, we give it attention. The more attention we give it, the larger it gets, the bigger it seems. I have heard it said this way, all the devil has is a toothpick, and he's doing the best he can with that toothpick, but it's our focusing on that toothpick that magnifies it like a telescope so that by the time we get to it, he's beating us with a baseball bat. Most problems stem from discontentment. I have had many issues, and by association, I have had a lot of discontentment. Americans are some of the most discontent people in the world, yet we are the most blessed. Why? Because we are looking to things and people for contentment. The only way for anyone to be content is in a relationship with our Father.
Psalm 16:11-You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. When your focus is on Jesus and all his benefits (all he has done for you), He shows you the path of life.
Isaiah 30:11- Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Psalm 103:2,3 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;
Remember who your God is. Seek the One that gives you breathe because joy, peace, and contentment dwell with Him, and only Him.

You may be thinking, Hey, I get joy from eating a chocolate bar and peace when taking a bubble bath. No, you get pleasure from eating a chocolate bar and relaxation when taking a bubble bath… sometimes. Nevertheless, that is not Joy. I remember being on vacation lying on the bed after rinsing the chlorine out of my hair, and I was tense all over. I couldn't think about where I was because I was really where I felt I should be. My mind couldn't seem to get off work. I felt hopeless, like I would never catch up. That feeling all of the time is torment. You can't stop, you can't relax, everything is going to fall apart without me. Come on, I know I'm not alone. It makes giving up on all of it sound so…inviting. The way some meet that call is an overdose or their last joy ride, but I met it by hitting my knees over and over and over and over. I didn't say I was a fast learner, but I do learn. When He meets me on my knees, He takes everything I'll give Him, and He gives everything I'll take. It is a process of letting go and pressing in that brings peace and joy. Real joy.

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