The Joy of The Lord

As Christians, we can experience the joy of The Lord. Jesus is our source of true Joy. He is the only person who can bring you true joy and everlasting happiness. The world tells us what we need to be happy. So people spend money and time going after wealth, possessions and power. But, after they have gotten those things, they are still unhappy. Why is that? Because happiness doesn’t come from those things.

Continue to read as I explore what true joy is and how we can experience the joy of The Lord. Join Anne as she shares how Jesus is our source of true Joy.

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The Joy of The Lord

When my husband and I were dating, we chose names for the children we wanted to have. We decided we wanted 4 kids and agreed on 2 boy names, and 2 girl names. 

For some reason, it was important to me to have Biblical qualities as middle names for the girls. 

So our daughters’ names are Meredith Grace and Madeleine Joy. 

Unfortunately, Madeline doesn’t really love her middle name. She actually kind of gets really annoyed at Christmas because she’ll see the word joy everywhere. I’ve got it on Christmas ornaments and she’ll see her name on different items and hear it in songs.

She can’t understand why people keep using her now. And I’ve tried to explain to her that joy is something that people want to feel. I named my kids Grace and Joy so that every time I look at them I think about those qualities. And so when I look at Madeleine and I think about Joy, I just think about the joy the Lord gives us.

The World’s Happiness

The world tells us, that to be happy, we should do what we want and pursue money, possessions, and amazing trips.

And that’s what the world values. And so sometimes we can get caught up in that and be pursuing those things as well.

And I don’t want any of this to be misconstrued, or for you to feel guilty because you’re chasing those things. But for me, it’s a reminder that when I chase after the things of the world.

Even if the world says this is going to bring you happiness, we know that it doesn’t because we have the word of God and we have people who had all the money, all the power, every single thing they wanted, and it was all empty because God wasn’t in it.

And so Christians can have wealth and they can have power and they can have authority, but the joy doesn’t come from those things.

A picture of a group of women standing in a closed circle and throwing confetti in the air. Above the picture are words that say, The Joy of The Lord. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Put The Lord First

The Lord tells us that to have true joy, we must seek The Lord and put Him first. 

If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 58:13-14

Maybe those weren’t the verses that you thought I’d be speaking about, because there are many verses that talk about joy. And as I was writing these verses right now, I thought to myself, we’re going to miss the point here.

In the Old Testament, the Lord had given the people of Israel a certain amount of laws. And these verses are saying that when you keep these things (The Law) , when you obey the Lord, when you honour God and obey His commandments, verse 14 says then you will find joy.

These verses are found in the Old Testament when The Israelites were taught the law and encouraged to keep it. 

Now these verses were found in the Old Testament and this was specifically talking to the people of Israel, but I think that. They are very applicable to us today and tell us certain things that we can do to find true joy in the Lord. And that’s what I’m gonna focus on.

These verses tell us the find true joy. We can’t just do whatever we want, we can’t just be saying whatever we want.

I want to be careful here because this can feel extremely restraining and I understand that. We have so much freedom in Christ that there are a lot of things we can do.

Sometimes people look at Christianity and think they don’t want to be a Christian because they don’t want to follow all these rules and it can sometimes feel restraining.

God’s love is seen in the law

Take a moment and I go through Scripture and realize there must be a purpose and a reason why God has set out these laws.

When you take a minute and you look at those laws and the reason for those laws, you actually see that those things that the Lord is telling people to stay away from are actually for our good.

For example: 

When you go through the Old Testament, you’ll notice that there are a lot of purity laws. So these laws told the Israelites when to wash their feet, like how often to feel to wash their bodies. They told women that during menstruation you were unclean and you had to leave the camp.

These laws told people when to wash their bodies, feet, and so on. What to stay away from and more. 

These directions can feel restrictive. 

But when you look at these laws and put them in the context of the society in which the Israelites were living, then we see that these laws were actually for their good and for their health.

In the Old Testament, there wasn’t always necessarily access to clean water, and they didn’t have the same rituals for bathing and cleanliness. And so many people actually died of disease and infection.

But the people of Israel didn’t die as often or as frequently because they had these purity laws that they were following.

As we know today, washing your hands is good for our health. We just went through two years of COVID and the number one thing that they taught us was to properly wash our hands. So we know that by washing our hands there’s a correlation between cleanliness and decreased disease.

But this science wasn’t available to the people of Israel, and so the Lord, instead of developing a science too early, set those rituals in their laws so that they could practice cleanliness and by practicing those cleansing rituals.

They were healthier than the nations around them.

God’s Laws are for our benefit

I hope you can see that even though following those rules can sometimes feel restrictive, it really was for their benefit.

The Lord said I want you to live longer, I want you to be healthier, I don’t want you sick. So I’m going to set these instructions for you so that if you follow them, you’re actually going to feel better and you’re going to live longer.

And that’s just one example of how God’s laws and God’s standards. Aren’t just set for the fun of it and to say, oh, I don’t want you to do this and I don’t want you to do this. Every single one of the laws that the Lord gives us, should we break them, doesn’t bring us good things.

Laws that keep us safe

We think of just the 10 commandments.

  1. Thou shalt not steal. There are laws that, if you steal a certain amount of money or a certain amount of goods, you’re going to go to jail. There’s a very real consequence to stealing. And so God tells us, don’t steal. He doesn’t want us going to jail.
  2. Thou shalt not murder.
  3. Thou shalt not bear false witness: How many times have we lied? And our lies get us into even more and bigger lies. It’s a snowball event. It just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it just takes a life of its own.

We can see how lies can sometimes bring separation between relationships. Lies can also bring distrust and so much more. And so the Lord says just don’t lie.

The Lord knows what it takes to have a good relationship and he knows that lying isn’t going to be good. So we are encouraged to speak the truth in love so that we can have better relationships.

And I could go on and on which every single law.

What to Focus on Instead

It’s easy to look at the “rules” and feel constricted. But scripture encourages us to focus on The Lord instead of focusing on feeling restricted.

Why the Lord is telling you not to do those things? It’s not because he doesn’t want you to have fun. It’s not because he wants to punish you. It’s because He wants better for you. And we can see this in parenting my own kids.

My kids love to cook with me. Oftentimes the oven is on or the griddle is on, and the kids are not paying attention to it. And I’ll say: “stay away from that. You might get burnt”.

I’m not trying to ruin their fun. I know that they’re going to get burned if they touch the hot thing, and I don’t want that for them. So I say don’t touch it.

And sometimes my children don’t listen and they touch it and they get burnt. But guess what? The next time they help me cook, they are more careful and don’t touch the oven.

So when we put all these laws into context, we can see these laws were created because God loves us and he wants to keep us away from danger.

What happens when we follow The Lord

When we’re following the Lord, and when we’re obeying him and what he has for us, we’re going to have true joy. And that joy comes from being in better circumstances.

So not only does obeying the Lord give us joy but then when we think about why God has given us these laws to follow and has told us how to live our lives, instead of focusing on following all these rules.

Anne Markey

It’s understanding that God loves us so much. And He’s just telling us that He knows where this decision is going to lead us and it’s not going to be too good things. And He doesn’t want that for us. He wants something else.

Hard times will still come

Obeying God doesn’t mean we’re never going to go through hard times. Because sometimes to get to that better thing, we have to go through hard times. So this is not about never experiencing trials.

I’m not saying that if you’re facing a trial right now that you’re not obeying the Lord. That is not biblical whatsoever. So that is a misconception.

But I want you to know that regardless of what is happening in your life right now– you can have true joy.

Because the Bible tells us that for us to show someone that we love them is to obey them.

So when we love the Lord. We spend time with him. We learn what he has for our lives. We gain joy because we see how much he loves us and it gives us a much bigger purpose for those hard things that we’re walking through.

Worship in response to His Love

Anytime I think about God and His word, I see how much He loves me. My response to His love is worship. I can’t help but worship with joy in my heart.

Psalm 126:2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.

So if you’re feeling restrained or you’re lacking joy, I just want you to take some time and think about why God is directing you one way versus the other.

Because we’re human and we don’t know what’s going to happen next, it’s really easy to think that option A is going to be what brings us more joy. The world tells us, to follow your heart, do what you want and go this way. And maybe the Lord will have that choice for you.

But we should be making it because the world is telling us to do it. We need to be making that choice because the Lord is the one telling us how to do it.

But The Lord might also say, no, that way isn’t going to lead to good things. I actually want you to do this. And yeah, it may be harder and it may take a long time to get to the other side of it, but in the long run, it’s going to give us more joy because then we’re obeying God, which builds our relationship with him, and we can then focus on why the Lord is bringing us in that direction.

He is a good father

The Lord tells us what to stay away from because He is a good father and He wants good things for us– even when we don’t see it.

And when we think about God and his love for us, then it brings us joy and we can worship him so.

Shift your focus from oh God doesn’t want me to do ABCD. Focus on why? And when you do, you will see that it’s because God loves you and that knowledge. Is what’s going to give you true joy regardless of what’s happening around you.

So if you are feeling restrained, or are lacking joy, take some time and think about why God has called you for certain things or away for certain things. 

It may not make sense to you, or you may not get an exact answer to why- but, it will help you focus on The Lord, instead of the scenario. 

Remember that God loves us and wants good things for us. Take some time and think about how doing something, or not doing something can be for your good. 

Regardless of what is going on in your life, you can find Joy in Him. 

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Thank you for being with us. And I just pray this time to be a blessing to all of us amen thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate this. That you’ve taken just to spend some time with me. In God’s word, I hope you’ve been encouraged by these devotions.

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