Thank you, Lord, that, even though it is dark and gloomy out today, within is your light, your Sonshine to warm and cheer me. I praise you that you want us to have joy: rich, deep, abiding, refreshing and empowering joy. The flow of this joy is dependent on you alone, fully independent of circumstances, feelings, suffering, persecution, weakness or difficulties.
However, the entrance of such joy into our lives is dependent on us: “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace AS YOU TRUST IN HIM…” (Rom. 15:13).
This joy is like a beam of light shining into a dark room through a hole in a wall; if we stand before it, we are enlightened, warmed and encouraged. If we move away from it, we may see it, but it does not touch us.
We have to look away from the darkness and come to you, trusting you to be our Light, our Lord, our Life. As it says in Proverbs 4:18, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining on ever more brightly till the full light of day.”
To put it another way, in Psalm 86:4 it says, “Rejoice the soul of your servant, O Lord, for I lift up my soul to you.” It is that coming into the light, looking to Him, being transparent, open, honest before Him, confessing our worries, fears and frustrations to Him and laying them aside as we stand in the warm, healing light of His presence.
This is what Jesus desires for us. In John 15:10,11 He said, “If you keep my commands [don’t worry!], you will remain in my love…I have told you this SO THAT MY JOY MAY BE IN YOU and that your joy may be complete [full].” He wants us to be filled with His joy so that we might be light bearers, hope bringers, faith carriers and love givers to all those around us.
If I am negative, worried, fearful, discouraged or complaining, I have stepped away from the light, turned from trusting you, Lord, and will blend in fully with the dark shadows of this corrupt world. But if I stand in your light, thinking truth, bringing all the sin and weight that entangles me to you, leaving them at the foot of the cross, then I will stand out sharply from the shadows, a flaming torch of hope and joy spilling light and love to all around me.
Lord, help me to live in your light, to rejoice in your goodness, to be filled with joy because I know you, the mighty Creator, the majestic Ruler, the marvelous Shepherd, the magnificent Savior.
Help me, Lord God, to let go of the temporary that entangles, to hold on to the truth that frees, enlightens, equips and brings joy, and help me then to rise above whatever comes, flying on the wings of truth, borne up by the shining feathers of your grace and goodness. Help me to move forward in your love and light, drawing ever closer to you so that your joy may fill me to overflowing and bring light and life to all those around me.