It feels selfish and worldly to find joy in or for ourselves. Yet, we long to be joyful. When properly placed after Jesus and others, finding joy for and within us is a privilege. We honor God, others and ourselves as we follow His plan for us. We find joy not only in Jesus and others but also ourselves when we honor the life He’s given us.
But how? It all begins with knowing Jesus’ saving grace. When we realize and appreciate the gift of Jesus and the salvation He’s won for us, we choose to honor Him with how we live. We follow His ways and commands out of respect and thankfulness. It’s not because we have to, but because we want to. The Psalmists said it well:
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. ~Psalm 16:11
I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart. ~Psalm 40:8
Following God’s commands and will are by no means easy or carefree. Living our lives for Him is often a more difficult path. But we can still find joy as we follow. The Bible gives us great examples of how to do this:
As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. ~Psalm 119:143
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. ~James 1:2
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. ~1 Peter 1:6
Pressure, stress, troubles, and trials do not conjure up joy for me. But we find joy in and as we follow, even through the valleys of life. We can live joyfully by following His will, knowing He’s sharpening and molding us to His likeness as we endure every trial or difficult choice. We sustain with the strength He gives us because we believe God’s way is higher, better and will lead us to who and where we’re meant to be.
Even when we don’t understand or feel joy, we know it’s still there. How? Because Jesus is still there.
He always is with us and sent the Holy Spirit to abide in and continue guiding us. So we can find joy within and for ourselves, not only when life is sunny and good, but when (not if) the storms of life come. Jesus told us not every step of our paths would be full of joy, but He has overcome this world and He’s with us each step of the journey.
Joy for and within ourselves comes as we:
- Find joy resting in His promise to always be with us.
- Find joy by tending to the gifts He’s given us in soul, mind and body.
- Find joy by making wise choices with our time, diet, exercise, sleep and all the earthly things we control.
- Find joy in following the path He has for us, even if difficult or unknown.
- Find joy by putting Jesus and others first.
This. This is how we find joy in and for ourselves. By honoring, trusting, and following Jesus above all with our lives.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. ~1 Peter 1:8
We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. ~Colossians 1:9-14
Let’s be filled with joy as we live for Jesus, serve and enjoy others and honor the life He’s given us. There’s no better way to find joy.