Lasting Joy part 3
In our last two blogs, we talked about what the Scriptures say about recovering our joy. Today we are going to finish our discussion and provide more information about how to do this. Let’s look at the next step.
A fourth step we can take to recover our joy is SPEND TIME WITH GOD.
Do you know that God wants to spend time with us? That may be hard to imagine. He’s got a whole lot of things going on, doesn’t he? Why would he want to spend time with us? Well, throughout Scriptures God invites us to do that. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened.” God says, “If you seek me you will find me.” God also says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” And there are many other passages that extend the same invitation.
One of the best ways to spend time with God is by having a daily quiet time. There are two major activities in quiet times. They are Bible study and prayer. As we pursue these activities, we can become friends with God. Isn’t that amazing? In John 15:15 Jesus called us friends. He said,
“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”
Friends want to spend time with each other. One of the best ways we can spend time with God is through the Scriptures. And doing that will consistently produce joy in our lives. Take a look at Psalms119 — verses 92 and 143
“If your instructions (God’s Word) hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery.”
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands (God’s Word).”
Both verses talk about the joy that comes from God’s Word.
Prayer is also critical to maintaining our joy. In John 16:24 Jesus instructed His disciples about a new way to pray. Let’s look at what He said.
“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy“.
Jesus says we can pray using His name, and not only will we receive what we ask for, but He says we can also have abundant joy. Using Jesus’ name means that He is endorsing what we are requesting. Does that mean he will endorse anything we ask for? No, there’s another condition. What we ask for has to bring glory to the Father. Let’s look at John 14:13.
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”
So how does praying like this produce abundant joy? Well, when we ask for something that meets these conditions, we know Jesus is going to do it and that brings joy.
Here’s one more thing we can do during our quiet time. We can sing. Psalm 95:1 says, “Sing for joy.” And the Bible tells us to do that in many other places as well. I read about a psychologist who would often prescribe singing worship songs as therapy. He said he would ask his patients to sing these songs over and over. He said there was great power in these songs, and he saw how they created joy in people’s lives. And he said you don’t even have to be a very good singer.
So, here’s what I want you to do now. I want you to find a simple worship song and sing it. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be, “Jesus loves me” or “Amazing Grace’ or “I love You Lord” or any other song that appeals to you. It doesn’t matter which song you pick. Just sing it over and over, and see what happens. I know you will be very surprised.
OK I would like to close with an invitation.
If you’ve never opened your life to Jesus Christ – if you’ve never accepted His offer of friendship — you can do that right now. I am going to pray, and I ask you to make this prayer your very own.
Dear Lord Jesus, I don’t understand it all, but I realize that you love me, and I need to learn about Your love. I don’t understand all about the cross, but I want to accept what you did for me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for dying for me. I ask you to forgive all my sins. I ask you to come into my life and make me a new person. Please help me to understand it all as I follow you. And as I begin to follow You, Lord, please produce Your joy within me. In your name, I pray. Amen.
I hope you prayed with me. See you next week …