Posted by: mikenicholsblog | August 3, 2016

a joyful journey

Last night peanuts and popcorn ruined the joy of a baseball game. I chipped a tooth. Then to top it off, I had shooting pain in my foot every few seconds which ruined a good night’s sleep. It is too hot outside. I am too busy … and somebody wants to tell me about “Joy on the journey”?!?!

Joy on the journey” are words that will likely resonate with all who read this post. However, you probably have your own “first paragraph” reasons which question all the joyful journey talk. The Father’s design for all those who have accepted His gift of salvation and eternal life in Christ, is to live with joy. But somehow our journey seems to get in the way. We all have unique stories about the struggles faced along our particular path. It may be a job, health issues, church problems, marital strife, or rebellious children (just to name of few). Those twists and turns tend to crowd out or steal our joy. Although we may not see many great examples of joy, it is absolutely available or the Father would not have said, “Be joyful always” (I Thessalonians).

As I allow these thoughts to percolate, it is easy for me to become discouraged.  I certainly have not mastered the art of joy on the journey. The real issue before me (and you), though, is not perfection, but progress. Too much of my journey has centered on me trying to serve God with misplaced values. Praying to get things, studying the Word without getting to know Him better, and serving Him in my own strength does not produce the depth of joy I believe the Father desires for me. Your journey may be similar, and the good news is that God is the designer of joy, so let’s seek His blueprint.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
Psalm 62:1

Whom have I in heaven but you? And the earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, by God is the strength of my life.
Psalm 73:25-26

The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Psalm 119:72

Is it possible to find rest in God alone? …Yes!  Is it possible to cherish His Word more than silver and gold? … Yes!  Is it possible to live with a deep conviction of His strength in all situations? … Yes!  The result is true JOY.

In my journey, I am learning to seek Him before I seek what He can provide.  I want to study to know Him, and not just fulfill my religious “duty.”  I have also learned that trying hard, although noble, can become an energy drain which creates little to no true joy. Finding rest in God alone is the surest way to become joyful.  Decide with me that you will discipline yourself to seek Him.  Then begin to dedicate your life to knowing Him through the pages of His book, and watch how He begins to create joy on your journey.

Be simple enough to believe that if you consistently seek the Father, He will teach you how to navigate a joyful journey. “You have made us for yourself, Oh Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – Augustine.  A new day awaits you, as you enjoy His joyful rest … Seek Him today.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the reminder, I need to hear this often!!! It can slip away so easy. Thank You Father that You provide joy for the journey.


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