“Always be joyful, never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.” I Thea 5:16-18 NLT
For as long as I can remember this has been one of my favorite verses. A life verse, you could say. Though, over the years I have found myself grappling with, “Am I really living up to this verse?” Or, “Am I really joyful all the time?” No. Maybe it is because I have misconstrued the meaning of the word joyful. The message paraphrases the verse, “Be cheerful no matter what…”1 Thes 5:16 MSG. Even that makes me wonder, is that possible? The NIV and NKJV versions read, “Rejoice always.”
Is rejoicing the key to being joyful? Giving thanks in all circumstances? Even when I am struggling?
I have a very dear 74 year old friend who lost her Father recently. He was 97 and she still called him daddy. She told me that her daddy can hear now! She has a love for Jesus, that exudes a joy that can be seen in her eyes to the depths of her soul. She cries tears of joy when she talks about Jesus, her heavenly daddy. She never grows tired of learning more about God’s word. She relies on Jesus like no one I know. I want to have that deep abounding joy that my friend has. When I read Psalm 119:1-2, I can see where that joy comes from…“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.”(NLT)
Help me Jesus to remember that true joy is found in you. When I search for you like hidden treasure, You reveal yourself to me. It astounds me to know that you delight in me, that I could bring You joy. I love you. In Your name I pray, Amen.