How to Know What’s Important and Live With Joy

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What do you need to live with joy? It's so easy to look for joy in what the world offers but what if true joy can only be found in knowing, trusting, and obeying God's will?

I think everyone believes they want to live with joy.

I looked up synonyms for joy and found … bliss, delight, elation, wonder, great happiness, and more.

Which begs the question … what does living with great happiness look like to you? Is it taking an exotic trip, enjoying a wonderful holiday with family, enjoying a luxury purchase, or curling up on a quiet afternoon with a cup of tea and a good book?

I’m guessing the following words would not be the first thing you thought of…

Joyful are people of integrity,
    who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws
    and search for Him with all their hearts.

Psalm 119:1–2

Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm and the longest chapter of the Bible. It is written in an acrostic pattern based on the Hebrew alphabet. We’re going to take a closer look at it over the next four posts.

Today, we’re focusing on Psalm 119:1–40.

Let’s go back to our question…

What would it take for you to live with joy?

I think most people think of living with joy as having the freedom to do whatever they want to do. Obedience sounds limiting and burdensome. But true obedience is based on God’s Word and aligns us with God’s will.

Look at the wisdom of Proverbs…

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.

Proverbs 29:18

If joy is found in trusting and obeying God’s will with integrity, then we need to know God’s will through God’s Word.

The writer of Psalm 119 tells us some helpful and important things to do when we want to KNOW and TRUST God’s will…

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. v. 11

I have recited aloud all the regulations You have given us. v. 13

I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways.
I will delight in Your decrees and not forget Your Word. v. 15-16

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in Your instructions. v. 18

Your laws please me; they give me wise advice. v. 24

Help me understand the meaning of Your commandments, and I will meditate on Your wonderful deeds. v. 27

Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions. v. 29

I will pursue Your commands, for You expand my understanding. v. 32

Give me understanding and I will obey Your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of Your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. v. 34-35

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through Your word. v. 37

As I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized that so much of our joy is lost because of a failure to trust and obey God’s will … our own failure or someone else’s failure.

God’s Word repeatedly speaks about the consequences of disobeying God’s will and the blessings of obedience.

Adam and Eve sinned and God removed them from the Garden. The Children of Israel would have entered the Promised Land 40 years earlier if they had obeyed God. And countless others sacrificed joy and lived out the consequences of their sin because they didn’t trust and obey God’s will.

So, I’m praying that we might take the Psalmist’s words to heart and SEEK God through His Word and prayer and that we might grow in our desire to KNOW His heart and His will. Because the more we KNOW the Lord the more our LOVE for Him will grow and the greater our love, the more we will desire to fully TRUST and OBEY Him knowing that He is the One who makes all things possible.

What do you need to live with joy? It's so easy to look for joy in what the world offers but what if true joy can only be found in knowing, trusting, and obeying God's will?

Let’s pray…

A Prayer to Know What God Calls Important
to Trust and Obey and Live with Joy

Father, Thank you for graciously giving us Your Word. You have always wanted people to KNOW, LOVE, and TRUST You. In fact, You gave us Your written Word to teach us Your truth. And You gave us Jesus, the Word made Flesh and the Spirit to reveal Yourself to us.

By Your grace, it is possible for us to know of Your Creative power and Redeeming love. Through Your Word, we know that You created us because You wanted a loving relationship with us.

Lord, You know what we need to live with joy in the world You made. You
gave us instructions so that we might know, trust, and obey Your will and experience the joy You want for us.

By the power of Your Spirit, please give me the wisdom I need to understand the truth of Your Word. Please give me the strength I need to obey Your instructions. Please turn my eyes away from worthless things and help me focus on Jesus and the full and satisfying life only He makes possible.

Your love overwhelms me. Thank you! I give myself to You and trust You to give me everything I need to live today with joy! In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

What do you need to live with joy? It's so easy to look for joy in what the world offers but what if true joy can only be found in knowing, trusting, and obeying God's will?

Who would think that obeying God would be what it takes to live with joy?

The truth is … God made us to need Him and we will never be truly content until we are content in Him.

I think the following quote says it well…

“He is our joy and our happiness, even as He is our peace. He is life, He is everything. So avoid the incitements and the temptations of Satan to give feelings this great prominence at the center. Put at the center the only One who has a right to be there, the Lord of Glory, Who so loved you that He went to the Cross and bore the punishment and the shame of your sins and died for you. Seek Him, seek His face, and all other things shall be added unto you.” ~ Martin Lloyd-Jones

May the Lord bless you and fill you with joy and you search His Word to KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY His will.

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  1. Martha Orlando says:

    Seeking and obey God in every way possible paves the way to joy.
    Blessings, Deb!

    1. Amen, Martha! God’s blessings to you!

  2. Kathy Francescon says:

    Such a wonderful and uplifting message today, Deb! There is no other joy like the joy we experience in believing, seeking, trusting, and knowing God! The joy that comes from God is total freedom from total darkness! It is a continuous and constant smiling of my heart, no matter the frown that may appear on my face from time to time.
    Blessings to you and everyone here for the joy of God to always keep our hearts smiling! Love and hugs, sweet friend!

    1. Hi Kathy! I loved the reply you gave today. You ALWAYS make me smile because your words are so heart felt. I have told you many times, you have the most caring and beautiful heart. Blessing to you too, my dear sweet friend.

      1. Good morning, Sue! I am so tickled to get your text! I have been concerned about you! I am praying that you are well! I also loved your reply to Deb also. Life indeed hurts us, but we have to keep our trust in God, and know that one day, our hearts will never hurt again! I rejoice in how wonderful Heaven will be! May God bless you with His comfort and healing for all your hurts! You are beautiful and wonderfully made and He loves you more than You can ever imagine! And so do we! Have a beautiful day! I am thinking of you! ????????????

        1. Thank you Kathy for your concern! You are so thoughtful and so caring. I do appreciate you and your friendship. I remember when you told me that September is a hard month for you. It is for me too. I do hope that you are doing well and that things are not so hectic for you. I hope that your father in law is adjusting to his surroundings too.
          I had a little surgery in August and it has been an adjustment, but I am coming along. I am like you, I do have my days and my times. It seems like we have so much in common.
          I just want you to know how much it means to me to hear from you and I am grateful for your posts. You are precious and honored too, and so very loved by us all.

    2. Amen, Kathy! There is no other joy like the joy we have in the Lord. His grace truly is sufficient. Thanks as always for your encouragement and for the beautiful ways you add to our conversations. Many blessings, dear friend!

  3. Ana Cordova says:

    Beautiful words of encouragement and prayers! It so true the only way to have happiness in our life’s is to be fully in with God our Lord. The temptations of the world is what brings us problems and unhappiness. With God nothing is impossible so long as we trust, seek, follow him daily he will give us joy, patience, and grace in difficult times.
    Have a wonderful blessed day Deb and all your followers!????

    1. Amen Anna! Such lovely and uplifting words! So glad to see you post! I have been a bit worried, as you haven’t been here with us for several days! Your reply is always so touching to my heart and soul! Wishing you a bright and joyful fall day! Blessings, dear friend! ????

    2. Thank you, Ana! I truly appreciate your kind encouragement. Your statements of faith and hope are a blessing to us all. God be with you and bless you, dear friend!

  4. Sometimes it is hard to find joy when we are struggling with problems over which we have no control. I know the truth in that, but now I have learned, as you said, to trust and obey. The joy I find now, is that through it all, I am gaining a closer relationship with God. That is my goal! Eventhough I have had many struggles, I have learned to look up and see the beautiful moon in the evening, the stars that twinkle so bright; the beautiful sunsets and the beautiful sunrises. There is so much joy in God’s creation. I know, that even when friends aren’t here for me, GOD is!! And that is the reason I want to Seek, know, love, trust and obey HIM. I can’t say enough thank yous to you, Deb, for all of your wisdom. I find joy in all of it!
    Blessings to you and many hugs too.

    1. I agree, Sue. When life is hard, it’s not easy to dig down, find, and live the joy He wants for us. I love that you are looking to God’s beautiful creation. I try to do the same. I’m also trying to get better at remembering all of the wonderful things He has done in the past and trust Him with hope for the future. With His help, taking life one moment at a time. Blessings, dear friend. I sure am blessed by you!

  5. Hello Deb
    Thank you for this post, I simply love hearing about JOY it is so encouraging, the word on its own makes me smile. My Mummy who died when I was just 19 used to say she felt joyful and loved her Jesus so often even though she was sick as long as I could remember, and I think this had an affect on me for which I am so very glad. At the time I thought nothing of it as I was so young but all these years later I praise Heavenly Father for my Mummy and the time I had with that marvellous lady.
    Little did I know that He was preparing me then for many years of sickness to come and joyful heart.

    Thank you again, love, hugs & blessings Mary

    1. What a beautiful testimony, Mary! Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman and you are lovingly following in her footsteps. Joyfulness is a wonderful gift from the Lord and I love the way you want to share it with others. God bless you!