Finding Joy may seem elusive, even to lovers of Jesus! Would you like to have Joy anytime you want? Finding Joy is easy if you know where to look. Today I’ll share part 1 of how I learned to find and live in sustainable joy!
Finding Joy is Not a Left Brain Activity
Maybe you’re like me, someone who went to every Bible study, retreat, women’s night, and church event hoping to learn so I could please the Lord and do what HE expected of me. I believed that “doing” was required to please Him, then, if He was pleased, I would feel some kind of joy, or at least, happy. Have you ever felt the same? Sure I learned a lot of scripture and I grew in knowledge, but joy, consistent joy – was missing. Both in my relationships with others and, sadly, even with Jesus.
Eventually, I discovered how to experience Real Joy and then repeat it anytime I want. Finding joy was easy and better than that, I found sustainable joy.
In Part One today I will share this with you. You might like to watch my video on my channel, Your Kingdom Journey.
Scripture Was a Source of Frustration
It begins with one of the key verses that I kept returning to over and over for many years.
Ps 16:11. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
I love that verse but always wondered how to BE IN HIS PRESENCE so I could experience the fullness of joy.?
I’m sure you’ve had times that feel really good to talk to Him and share your burdens and worries, but have you “experienced” His Presence and can you get there whenever you want? Answering that question became quite the journey for me.
Like me, you’ve probably had times that felt like JOY. You know that “deep in our spirit warm honey sensation.” I loved that feeling, but it didn’t last very long. Then I would feel like I failed in my quest to find real joy because it left me so quickly. Isn’t it supposed to be a lifestyle? It’s a choice, right? After all, people say, “Choose Joy,” right?
What is Joy?
I think it will help us if we defined JOY. We need a roadmap to finding joy!
Brain scientists say that the simplest definition of joy is that it that feeling when you’re happy to be with someone!
That’s because joy is relational.
Like when your 3-year old granddaughter runs up to you and throws her arms around your legs. It’s that simple!
If joy is a feeling, then it can’t a choice.
I bet you experience joy when you go to church and interact with familiar friends who are happy to see you but is that same experience missing in your relationship with Jesus – on a consistent basis?
Eventually, I came to realize that all the ‘‘knowledge and behavior” activities I was doing earlier in my Christian life, you know, all the left brain stuff I did to earn his approval, never unlocked JOY with Jesus because it wasn’t relational WITH HIM.
Many of us confuse Joy with Happy. But the real joy when it comes as a result of a relationship will end in peace. Peace is the counterpart of joy. If we were flipping a coin, Joy would be ‘heads’, and peace would be the ‘tails.’
Knowing this might help you see and experience the difference between happiness and joy. You can even begin to sense peace when it comes after joy. How might knowing this affect your life?
I’ve shared this with many women who were surprised to discover that normal, healthy joy is a short-lived experience followed by peace. So look over your life and you might discover times you’ve experienced more joy than you realized you were!
Do you know you can deliberately experience the Lord’s Presence and return to joy and peace, anytime you want – even in difficult circumstances? Let’s face it we all have times when everything feels chaotic – definitely not peaceful, like when a spouse is ill, or your child is addicted to drugs, or a friend betrayed you, or the impact on all of us from Covid 19?
Because I’ve spent years pursuing the way into His Presence, I finally found the fulness of JOY, and believe me the journey was worth it.
Finding Joy in His Presence
Real joy is found in the Presence of the Lord. He is always happy to be with you! He is always ready to enjoy your company. He loves you and enjoys you!
But If real joy is found in the Lord’s Presence, how do we get into His Presence?
I’ve been on that quest even longer. I remember many years ago after reading the first verse of PS 91 which says “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,” and just loving all of the amazing promises in this Psalm! But, I cried out to the Lord, “I don’t know how to get into the Secret Place with you. Show me the way.”
Have you prayed that too?
I tried to get someone to teach me or show me the way. I really had no clue. I can’t tell you the number of years I spent crying out because no one could give me a practical way into the ‘Presence.’ I needed to know-how to get there!
That of course, made me feel like a failure. So I filled my time with more “God-approved activities” since I wasn’t sure I was actually experiencing him beyond an occasional tingle. And so the cycle continued.
Is anyone resonating with this?
When I finally found the way into His Presence, I was shocked to discover how easy it is.
There is JOY in His Presence and Treasures Forevermore and it’s worth every effort to discover HIM there. Stick with me on this journey so you can discover how to find sustainable joy. But in the meantime, will you please read both Ps 16 and Ps 91. As you do, ask Jesus what will it look like for you to be in His Presence. What will Joy feel like for you? How will Jesus respond? Write down your answers and if you’re willing, share them in the comments.
More Help for Finding Joy
I have helped many women process beliefs, overcome obstacles, and find the way to a joyful Kingdom living. If you’d like to explore the roadmap for Finding Joy on Your Kingdom Journey, click here to see my coaching and inner healing packages you can consider!
Please join me in future posts and videos as we continue to unlock the way to Finding Joy on Your Kingdom Journey.