The first scripture that comes to mind when I think of joy is Psalm 16:11 - "...in His presence is fullness of joy." God does not want us to walk around joy-less. Have you ever had a joy-less day? I sure have. The key to lasting joy is staying in His presence. We enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise, but how do we stay there?
How do we stay in His presence? Read John 15 (the entire chapter) - Jesus tells us to abide (make our abode, our home) in Him, and Him in us, and to let His words abide in us..... Then in verse 11 He tells us, "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be FULL." (emphasis mine)
In addition to praise and thanksgiving, which are vitally important, we must abide in His word. Not just on Sundays, or only during devotions. We are to feed on His word throughout the day. One friend carries whatever verses she is meditating on with her - written on an index card - tucked away in her pocket, but ready to be pulled out and looked upon at a moments notice.
It is easy to be happy when everything is going good. Not always so when circumstances become difficult. David, a man after God's own heart and who cried out to God during difficult times as recorded in the Psalms, declares that God's word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm 119:105) When do you need a lamp? When it is dark! Okay, I am stating the obvious here but it just dawned on me today. God has provided His WORD to light our way through dark circumstances of life. Lamps provide light which provides clarity and hope - you are able to see where the path is, if there are rocks or snares along the way, how to avoid them, and which way to go... The light of God's word helps us to stay on His path and walk through dark, difficult circumstances safely.
So this week, in addition to counting gifts (moments of gratitude and thankfulness) and family devotions, I am going to spend more time meditating in His word and beginning with John 15, and Psalm 119. What scriptures are you meditating on this week and how are they ministering to you? It would be a blessing if you would take a moment to share.