Fuller Joy

(photo source: Google images)
  • THE ROOT OF DISCONTENT

Most of our joyless days are brought about by our being discontented with what we have in our life. And what could be the root of this discontent? One is, we train ourselves in looking at others’ lives and conditioning our minds to believing that others are always better, have always better things than what we have, and are living more fulfilling lives than we are. We look so closely to the other side of the fence that we even notice their palmera plant is more lush or their gladiolas are more vivid in color!

We’ve been looking hard at others’ blessings that we miss enjoying our own blessings and thanking God for them. We always have the tendency to compare. Maybe we are forgetting that Jesus called us to WALK the NARROW WAY and not the way of pleasure. He has called us to GLADLY TAKE UP OUR CROSS daily and follow Him. Carrying our cross daily, that’s the token of our being made worthy to be called His true disciples. We are called to live simple lives, to serve Him humbly and be partakers of His sufferings (1 Pet. 4:13).

{We are taught not to love the world and the things that are in the world. For if we do so, the love of the Father is not in us (1 John 2:15). And if the Father’s love is not in us, how miserable our life would be! So then, let’s “set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).}

Psalm 37:4 says: “Delight [joy, rejoice, jubilate, gladden, please] yourself in the Lord…” We ought to find our joy in Him and in the life that He’s weaving for us.

Unless we embrace our calling wholeheartedly, there will always be a feeling of discontent, and joy will always be absent. Joy sits on contentment. Without contentment as one of its bases, joy flies away. To the discontented heart, joy is NEVER near. Apostle Paul said:

…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Phil. 4:11)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Tim. 6:6)

Let your conversation be WITHOUT COVETOUSNESS; and BE CONTENT with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb. 13:5, emphasis added)

  • EMBRACING OUR VOCATION AND SHARING OUR GIFTS

If we have to covet (not our neighbors’ goods, God forbid!), Apostle Paul counsels us to earnestly covet the best spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:31). What has God endowed us with? What has He put into our hearts to be able to serve Him and give glory to His name? I’ve proven that doing something meaningful will definitely bring joy to our hearts. Do you work hard to provide for your family? That is a noble deed and I’m sure it brings a lot of joy to you and those you love and care for.

It is much more so with God. When we use our gifts, the gifts He has given us to carry out His purposes, the joy that it brings to us cannot be compared. Even if we cannot travel the world over to share the Gospel, there’s still something that we can do.

Apostle Paul wrote epistles while in prison. While he couldn’t travel to spread the Good News, the desire to proclaim and teach it continued to burn in his heart and soul that he wrote many epistles. We may be physically constrained by various reasons, but the Word is not constrained, and considering the Internet convenience we have now, our writings can travel to the ends of the earth in seconds.

Let us not make our physical constraints or sufferings to be reasons to wallow in resentment, self-pity, or envy. But let every season of our lives, whether a long chilly winter or vibrant spring, bountiful harvest time or a painful drought, be an occasion to serve the Lord fervently and faithfully.

If in our physical condition, all we are able to do is pray, don’t despair. Praying for others (even for those we hardly know) is a most noble act. If we live to encourage, inspire, comfort, and lift others up, by our spoken words or writings, we ourselves will be encouraged, inspired, comforted by what we do, for WE REAP WHAT WE SOW. What did the Apostle John say?

I have NO GREATER JOY than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 1:4, emphasis added)

If we become ministers of mercy, we minister joy to others, and to ourselves.

  • PURSUING FULLER JOY

One way to fuller joy that will not fail is worshiping God. Set aside a private time of praise and worship. Not a time when we have been completely exhausted by other tasks that we can hardly focus our minds to God, let alone sing praises and worship with all that is in us, but quality time that all we can focus on is God and His goodness. This is a time where we sing praises declaring God’ majesty and glory, where we lift up our heartfelt thanksgiving, and where our souls sing out our earnest prayers with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Even though we feel the pain as we raise our hands and our voice to sing, and even though we can hardly finish three songs, God is listening and we will feel His joy and comfort, and all our efforts will be bundled together and poured out in the form of tears. We are blessedly enveloped and awashed with His presence. The Psalmist KNEW this to be true that he declared:

They that sow in tears shall REAP IN JOY. (Psalm 126:5, emphasis added)

When troubles come, or sorrow or self-pity enters our hearts, run to the secret place: in the presence of the Lord. There’s no other safer, happier, and more fulfilling place to be in but in the curve of God’s loving protection and comforting presence.

… IN THY PRESENCE IS FULNESS OF JOY; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever more. (Psalm 16:11, emphasis added)

He that dwelleth in the SECRET PLACE of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1, emphasis added)

I invite you to read the whole Psalm 91.

Please check also My Song List (although I’ve more new songs learned, I have not updated my list ~ sorry about that).

Linking to We are That Family, Spiritual Sundays

 

Comments

  1. Miss T says:

    Thank you, Ma’am! No physical, internal barriers can separate us from the love of Christ and nothing indeed can keep us from doing what He meant for us to do! I lift my knee to Him!

  2. Charlotte says:

    My mother was a wonderful example of being content. She never had very much of this world’s good things but she was always happy and said she could always find someone worse off than she was. She loved people and they loved her. I’ve always wished I was more like her. I’m so happy she shared her faith and passed it on to me.
    Thank you again, Rina, for sharing your interesting life.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

  3. RinaPeru says:

    Thank you so much for sharing a bit about your beloved mother. It’s heartwarming! I pray and strive to be always content and thankful, too, in a joyful way. And there are people, like your mother, who serve as shining lights.
    Blessings, too!

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