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,Psalm 119:1–2
who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws
and search for Him with all their hearts.
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.
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.
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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