Someone once said, “How do you spell joy? Jesus. Others, You.” Simple, and true. Life works well when we keep Jesus as our first love and then, in turn, lavish love on others rather than focusing on ourselves.
This morning I read some words that add a deeper dimension to the J in Joy. They say, “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. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths “ (Psalm 119:1-3).
Quite honestly, obeying God’s laws doesn’t always feel joyful especially if doing so collides with our wants or perceived rights. Take, for example, His command to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us.
How about remaining faithful and respectful of one’s spouse when he/she shows no interest in keeping your marriage alive? What about tithing when finances are tight? What about taking a God-given risk when there’s no hint of the results it might bring? How about obeying the speed limit even though doing so means we’ll likely be late for a meeting? (Consider the possible options to that one and then ask yourself how joyful you’d feel paying a speeding ticket!)
Sometimes we consider God’s commands as old-fashioned or constricting. Perhaps it’s time for an attitude adjustment. We need to embrace them as safeguards placed by a loving, all-wise heavenly Father or as the strategies for successful living. Obeying them results in true joy even when it hurts or it’s inconvenient.
Answer this question: On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s my joy level today? What action must I take to move it at least one notch higher?
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