The Presence of Joy
“Lord, I want my soul to be joyful before You because You love me and I belong to you. Fill my day with the presence of Your joy and make me a joyful woman.”
Sometimes, I truly believe God has given me a husband to be my external conscience. Last Tuesday, I woke up after a fitful night of sleep, grumbling about having to get ready for Bible study. Adam has Tuesdays off and I would’ve much rather slept in and stayed in his arms. It was one of those mornings where nothing was going right. I stumbled back into the bedroom, complaining, but my husband gently beckoned, “Come here.” He took me in his arms and hugged me, and I was suddenly filled with conviction that I hadn’t been Christ-like. Once I realized that, I felt peace and joy flood through my veins. And what do you know? I got 10 extra minutes in bed with my husband.
The Joyful God
Our God is a God of joy! This is an attribute of God that we often forget. We tend to think of a serious God that’s maybe a little scary sometimes. But God is joyful and the source of our joy!
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Can you imagine the King of the Universe delights in you, loves you, and sings over you? In His love, He chooses to forget our sins when we confess them to Him. He rejoices when you chose to follow Him.
Quiet your heart for a moment. Can you hear Him singing?
Practicing the Presence of Joy
- Wait on the Lord
Psalm 27:13-14 “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
I will never forget when this verse’s meaning finally clicked for me. During my freshman year in college, I was in a Bible study. Beth, our leader, talked about how “waiting on the Lord” didn’t mean sitting around, twiddling our thumbs, watching for Him to move. It meant serving the Lord, like a waitress waits on tables. Psalm 100:2 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” We can live in God and enjoy His benefits and blessings now on this sinful fallen earth when we choose to obey Him out of love and serve Him with gladness in our hearts.
- Gladly accept God’s timing as a gift.
Trust and remember that His timing is perfect! Know that God has a perfect plan for your life, and don’t worry about tomorrow. Welcome today as another opportunity to praise and serve Him.
Mimi Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt write in their book, Holy Habits,
“Is there something that you’re longing for? Elohim transcends time. He knows even better than you when you have a need and what it is. As you get to know Him, you will start trusting His timing in every area of your life. This heart awareness will allow Him to make deep changes in your perspective on life.”
Ladies in Waiting (a.k.a. dating/engaged ladies):
- Pray together regularly
Ask God to fill your hearts with joy. Don’t just focus on your needs, but praise God and thank Him for His many blessings.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- If at all possible, attend church together and get involved in fellowship with other believers.
When Adam and I were dating, we would trade off visiting each other’s churches at least once a month, and I remember how much fun it was to bring him to my worship team lunches. We’d pray, laugh, talk and laugh some more. It was a wonderful way to start the week!
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.”
Attending a church fellowship and serving together in ministry is a great way to get to know each other and to grow individually and together in the Lord.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the perfect time to practice gratitude in your marriage. The longer I’ve been married, the more thankful I am that God has placed Adam in my life. Daily lift up thanks to the Lord for the blessings in your marriage. Remind your spouse that you are grateful for him as an individual and for what he does for you. Show your appreciation for your husband regularly. When you feel frustration rising, pause and take a moment to praise God and ask Him to give you a heart of thanksgiving. From a heart of gratitude flows joy because true joy comes from living in Christ.
““Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives…Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of Him.” Colossians 3:15-17 (CEV).
- Laugh together often.
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine…” (ESV). Ever wanted to laugh when something goes wrong? I appreciate how my husband always tries to get me to smile and laugh when I’m stressed out or upset. Laughter can relieve tension and stress, especially in a marriage. Learn to laugh with each other.
Be a woman of joy! Be filled with joy because you have the gift of the present from an Almighty God who delights in us, gives us pleasure, and grants us joy.
Meet Me for a Cup of Coffee
How do you define joy?
Take a moment and meditate on this song with me:
What hope, comfort, and joy does this song give you?
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…”
“To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 1:24-25
Take a moment and praise God for who He is and what He has done. How have you seen the Lord fill your life with joy?