Jumping for Joy

There is no doubt in my mind that God has a sense of humor. Nor is there any doubt in my mind that his timing is perfect. This morning I saw those two characteristics of God unfold in the midst of my less than pleasant mood.

I don’t know why it is that sometimes I wake up filled with joy and other days I have to remind myself, “This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it(Psalm 118:24).” So as I opened my study guide this morning, my joy gauge leaning a little in the wrong direction, I think I might have inwardly grumbled as I noticed the title – “The Joy of the Lord.” I couldn’t help but think God was laughing.

As I dove in, I was reminded of a message about joy God placed on my heart several weeks ago as I was reading the book of Galatians. Galatians was written by Paul, who was confronting the legalism that was being taught after his departure from Galatia, and his goal was to bring the church back to the heart of the gospel – that salvation is due to God’s grace and can not be earned ( Galatians 2:20,21). Hidden, in the midst of his argument, was a simple verse that jumped out at me. “What has happened to all your joy?” (Galatians 4:15)

As I pondered that verse, I recalled David’s cry to God in Psalms 51: 12a, where he said, “Restore to me the joy of my salvation.” I had never tied the two together, but it occurred to me that even in the Old Testament David understood his joy was not a result of sacrifices and offerings, of possessions, of new endeavors, or of trying to please God. Instead, he knew true joy came as a result of his redemption and relationship with God.

My recollection of my thoughts on joy and the time I spent with God this morning got me back on track. In the midst of waiting for God’s timing, for doors to open, for prayers to be answered – we can rest in him and find joy in the journey. Joy that we are his and he is ours, joy that he set a plan in place to restore mankind to himself, joy that Jesus paid the price for our sins, joy that we are so loved. Honestly, there is no greater joy than reveling in the love of the Father.

Today, I pray you will rejoice in the joy of your salvation, let it be your strength, and remember to enjoy the journey.

Copyright © 2009 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.

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