All Earth is Hopeful - December 17th
May God’s Joy Be In You
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
In writing this devotional, I needed to be sure I understood what “joy” meant and not confuse it with happiness. The online dictionary has:
“The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.”
“Keen pleasure; elation; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.”
I believe this covers what God intended for us.
Looking at the first part -- In my daily life, I experience joy by doing something satisfying, such as helping others through donations, building something for a friend, taking someone to the grocery store, and supporting loved ones throughout their lives. I find when I focus on others, my problems seem to diminish or go away. Joy is good for you and the people around you!
I also experience joy (great delight) in looking at the world God has created for us to enjoy. I hike with my friend every week and the sights we experience are so emotionally up lifting. I enjoy the simple things of nature: squirrels playing; relaxing with our dog; listening to music or watching a sunset. Take time to enjoy little things, you’ll be surprised how it can fill you with God’s spirit -- He made all of this for us!
Now, looking at the second part -- The greatly valued and appreciated things in our life are God and celebrating the birth of His Son. One great joy is living God’s word day to day. He will give you the peace you need if you let Him into your heart.
Psalm 16:11 sums it up: “You will show me the path that leads to life; Your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.”
Prayer: Dear God, I feel joy because of Your deeds and presence in my life. There are reminders everywhere of all the wonderful things You have done and created. I thank You and praise You for your steadfast love and care. Guide me in life so that all I do and say honors You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.