Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 9, 2016

journey joy is simple

Last night, my wife and I traveled about 75 miles one way to do a seminar. By the end of the evening, we were weary and worn as we journeyed those same 75 miles home. One of the participants in our seminar was a smiling lady named Joy. Her smiles were a contradiction to how we felt on the drive home. Next week, we are attending a conference which is about 2,000 miles from home. There will be over 8,000 attendees at the conference and I wonder how many will travel there with joyful hearts.

With my journey glasses on, I see the traveling adventures of people every day. Observation has taught me, by percentage, very few are commuting with true joy in the hearts. For a variety of reasons, daily circumstances tend to mute or deplete our joy. It is understandable how someone without a relationship with Christ would be frustrated; they are traveling alone. But for those who have entered by faith into the family of God, why doesn’t the journey contain more joy? If your journey is in need of a boost, consider how you are using the daily rest stops available through His Word (Be honest with yourself about the relationship you have right now with the Word).

For the most part, it’s impossible to control the external circumstances which invade our lives each week. Have you noticed how often your weekly travels have taken you over one mountain, only to find the steep face of another? And while there are certainly stretches of smooth highways and level roads, for the most part the terrain of life is tough.

Pulling over at daily rest stops will deepen your resolve that external circumstances never give true joy on the journey. Disciplining ourselves to depend on the Father is vital. Nothing on the outside will ever satisfy our internal longings. The people who surround us, the culture we live in, or the activities which fill our lives will never give us lasting joy on the journey. Take a few minutes, and let the words of II Corinthians encourage you to look inward to buffer the externals of life.

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
II Corinthians 4:16-18 (MSG)

For a moment, honestly evaluate your recent growth through the nourishment of His Word. Is it secondary to your daily travels? Is there too much life in the fast lane and too few rest stops? God wants you to enjoy the growth and joy which He alone can provide. If He is willing to make us strong and unfold His grace in our lives, we must seek and allow the nutrients of His Word to transform us. Our daily doses of nourishment and light are essential to create the strength which stands firm in defense against the attack of those external circumstances we can’t control, but we know will come.

Journey joy is simple. Create time and give priority to rest stops.  Let His Word re-energize and fuel you. If your rest stops are too infrequent, confess that your travels are out of balance and start each day by pulling over at a rest stop.  He knows when you’ll need the miracle, or maybe just some encouragement for the next mile. Remember, there is a lavish celebration prepared for all who know Christ.

Don’t traverse another mile without seeking Him first.


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