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"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalm 16: 11 NKJV
Right now, I really don't have the time to share all that is in my heart to share about this verse and how it has inspired and challenged me in my own life, but as a summery of it, I'll tell you; my name is Joy, and as to my temperament, ironically, I am generally as happy a person as my name suggests. Life is just full of so many joys, laughter and happiness.... wouldn't you agree? And yet, it is also filled with so much sorrow and sadness, pain and sin. Life can be really difficult to understand, especially when you're hurting and when you find that you CANNOT BE HAPPY OF AND IN YOURSELF! I've often felt that I couldn't be happy... I couldn't be a 'joy' to others, to the Lord, or a joy in my own life. My selfishness, my sins, the troubles and sorrows around me, would rob me of any happiness in life...
Through the years, the verse in Psalm 16 has become very dear to me; the Lord showed (and is still showing) me how there can never be true joy in life apart from Him. It is in His Presence that there is fullness of joy. And that 'joy' is unlike anything the world offers. It is a joy, oh far more precious! It is a joy that comes from abiding and living in the Presence of our beloved Saviour, in repentance (which is the joy-filled life!). Jesus said “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15: 11 NKJV) It is the joy of the Lord. During the season in which I was born (Christmas), there is a sense of celebration and jollification, but even in those special joyous occasions you and I may be suffering or hurting... or maybe, just struggling with doubts and don't feel any joy, or anything of that kind of happiness of the world that is both cheap and so transient. But there is a joy far greater, true joy... and you know what? That joy, no one... NO ONE! can take away from us, even in the midst of weeping and great inner turmoil and darkness. Jesus promised us His joy...
"Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy... Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."
John 16: 20, 22 NKJV
No one can take that away. Seeking the Lord Jesus, dwelling in His Presence, that's where there is 'fullness of joy' and inner peace. That's the desire of my heart. To dwell in His Presence and abide in Him. A part of abiding in Him, dwelling in His Presence is listening to His voice and obeying. When we stop choosing our own way, and the passing "pleasures of this world", "He will show us the path of life..." and in abiding in Him, then there is true fulfillment and joy in life. That is one big lesson of my life that I know I will continue to learn and grow in for the rest of my life: walking the path of life with Him in the everyday things of life, and also the big things: in home-life schooling, reading, writing, music, art, homemaking, cooking, sewing, family-time, fun-time, quiet times with God... the list is endless. He gives the joy with which we can see life and enjoy it, and take all these joys of life and give it back to Him in thankfulness. It is a life surprised by signposts of joy - our final joy will be in reaching Glory Land when we will continually be with Him in utter joy and bliss; but until then, as we walk the path of life, His joyful Presence surrounds us. He is with us. Oh! So, may we seek His Presence always- for in His presence is fullness of joy!