I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. This morning, this sentence caught my attention: “Joy is God’s life.”
Indeed—joy is God’s life. We see it all around us, in the beauty of creation and the delight it inspires within. We hear it in a child’s giggle, a songbird’s melody, a sunset’s golden pink splash across the horizon. And we read about it in His Word.
If God’s life is joy and we’re His children and His Holy Spirit dwells within us, then should not joy should be our hallmark, too?
Granted, sometimes life stinks. A doctor’s diagnosis shakes us to the core. Our loved ones die too young or without saying goodbye. We lose our job and we can’t pay the mortgage. We lose our kids and we don’t know how to rescue them from the clutches of the vice that’s ripped them from us.
Life takes detours that disappoint and cause hardship and create havoc. Joy seems anything but attainable some days. And yet, if God’s Word is true, then joy is ours no matter what direction those detours take us. How so? By keeping our eyes on the One who embodies joy.
“I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy,” declared the psalmist (Psalm 63:2-5).
He also wrote these words: “I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is filled with joy and my mouth shouts his praises!” (Psalm 16:7-9).
When joy seems a far stretch, let’s remember the psalmist’s words. Like him, we have every reason to know joy as our life when we know God as our Creator, Savior, and Friend.
Let’s choose joy. Let’s make joy our life and whet the appetite of a watching world to know the Source of true joy.