Unwavering Joy (Daily Encouragement)

Brian Sullivan   -  

The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. – Psalm 126:3

We all have a desire for joy – for a heart and life that is filled with goodness and gladness. We have the desire so much that we often look for it in things that ultimately can’t bring true, lasting joy. What Jesus refers to as water that makes you “thirsty again” (Luke 4:13). Psalm 126 exposes the things that can’t satisfy and reminds us of what will bring an unwavering, ultimate and eternal joy. A joy that penetrates our lives and changes us. God. Knowing God. Remembering who God is and what He has done. Anticipating and trusting in what God promises to do. 

The enormous entertainment industry in America is a sign of the depletion of joy in our culture. Society is a bored, gluttonous king employing a court jester to divert it after an overindulgent meal. But that kind of joy never penetrates our lives, never changes our basic constitution. The effects are extremely temporary—a few minutes, a few hours, a few days at most. When we run out of money, the joy trickles away. We cannot make ourselves joyful. Joy cannot be commanded, purchased or arranged. But there is something we can do. We can decide to live in response to the abundance of God and not under the dictatorship of our own poor needs. We can decide to live in the environment of a living God and not our own dying selves. We can decide to center ourselves in the God who generously gives and not in our own egos which greedily grab. One of the certain consequences of such a life is joy, the kind expressed in Psalm 126. – Eugene Peterson

Each day we have a choice – will we seek temporary joy in things that run out?  Or will we seek an eternal joy that comes form living in response to the abundance of God and center our lives on Him? 

A sure consequence of a life centered on the God of the Bible is an unwavering joy and gladness.