Mary Johnson

We are in a phase of life where our kids are eating a lot of food and eating a lot of food frequently. They will eat a meal and not too much later ask for a snack because they are no longer full. At first, I thought they were just bored eating, but I’ve come to realize that they are growing kids and legitimately hungry. I know this because they are willing to even eat vegetables as a snack!

All of us have had that same physical feeling of being hungry and the desire to be full. Whether we know it or not, we’ve also all had the feeling of being hungry for joy in our lives, and the desire to have our joy full. We’ve probably all tried to feed our hunger for joy by filling it with things that may be temporary fixes: relationships, money, position, material possessions. Those things…in fact, anything other than what I’m about to share with you…don’t have the power to satisfy our hunger for joy. Those things aren’t designed to give us true joy. But there is something that fills us with joy in a way that nothing else can. David talks about it in the book of Psalms. In Psalm 16:11, David says: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”

Being in God’s presence is where we find joy at its fullness. Not a slight piece of joy, not a fleeting moment of joy, but fullness of joy. Being in God’s presence happens when we are taking time to put the distractions of life aside and to turn our thoughts and our emotions to God. Hopefully, you have had opportunities to be in God’s presence: at a Sunday morning service here at LCC, in a connect group, or even by yourself when you are spending time with God. It’s in those times when we recognize that the things of this world can’t fill the void of joy in our lives, but a relationship with the One who has created us can bring us that joy we are seeking after.

We don’t want to overlook the first part of Psalm 16:11 which says, “You make know to me the path of life…” You might be wondering, “How does God make known to me the path of life?” Well, let me tell you; it’s through His Word, the Bible. God has given us this great roadmap to life in the Bible. The Bible clearly guides us by giving us the instructions for the best way to live, a way to experience life at its fullest. This includes a life that is full of joy. When we submit our lives to the principles and truths that are found in the Bible, our life will be one of joy. This doesn’t mean that our lives will be easy, or only full of what the world considers happy and joyful. What it does mean, however, is that we are living the way that God designed us to live, and we experience a joy that only He can give. Our hunger for joy is only satisfied when we choose to live a life that follows God’s instructions, and a life where we are purposed to be in God’s presence.

I encourage you to take time this week to ask God what it is in your life that needs to change in order to better follow His roadmap for you. I also encourage you to then spend time in God’s presence (turn on some worship music, sit quietly and allow God to speak to you, sing out words of praise to God, read the Bible), and experience this true and full joy that only He can give you.