This past weekend my wife and I were having a little argument. She was feeling anxious, and I was not being very compassionate about it. I started down the path of trying to reason her through the anxiety. I was trying talk her out of being anxious, and it was not going over well. In fact, it looked as if we might be heading for a long and drawn out argument. Then the Holy Spirit showed up unexpectedly. I stopped trying to reason with her, I lowered my own defenses, and I made an off the wall suggestion. I said, “Why don’t we just build a fort and hang out in there all night?”
I fully expected that this outrageous suggestion was going to met with a certain amount of hostility, so you can imagine my surprise when the only response i received was, “Okay.” My wife and I then preceded to build a fort out of blankets, couches, bar stools and laundry baskets that spanned our entire living room. In case anyone is wondering, we did sleep in there. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we didn’t want to tear it down. We were having so much fun, and we were so full of joy, that the anxiety from everything else just naturally faded away.
I believe this paints a picture of how we are meant to walk with God. It is so easy to see our walk with God as a spiritual obligation rather than a joyous adventure. We can get so caught up in trying to handle every situation with our own reason and our own abilities, that we miss out on experiencing the joy of our walk. God wants us to follow wherever he leads with joy in our hearts. Whether he leads us into a life of great wealth and prosperity, or he leads us into a life of poverty. God wants us to proceed with great joy, knowing that His promises are true and that He always has our best interest at heart.
John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we may have life to the full. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. James 1 encourages us to have joy in trials, and Psalm 47 says to clap our hands and shout to God with cries of joy. God wants us to walk out everything that we do with a joy that can only come from knowing His promises and believing He will deliver on those promises. God wants us to follow Him with a knowing in our hearts that He is for us, and that He is always leading us down the path that is best for us.
No matter what you are going through today, no matter how busy or how tired you might be, take a moment to be joyful for all that God has done for you. If you are having trouble remembering things, then start with the most important thing He did for you in sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ, so that you may have life. Let His presence fill you with joy and help you to rise above your current circumstances. Jesus didn’t die so that we could merely survive the world, He died so that we could be full of joy no matter what the world throws at us.
Psalms 63:5-7 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” ~ C. S. Lewis