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  • Writer's picturekara-duncan

An Unexpected Source of Joy

Now that school is out, and Memorial Day weekend has arrived it feels like we’re in the full swing of summer.  Summer is my favorite season because it usually means a family vacation, trips to the pool, cookouts and more time spent outdoors.  Summer also reminds me a lot about the word joy.  Maybe it’s all the sunshine, flowers, lush green plants, butterflies and birds.  I’ve been reading in the Psalms recently and noticed the word joy, but not in the context that I would expect.  Check these scriptures out:

  • Yes, joyful are those who live like this!  Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.  Psalms 144:15

  • How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.  Psalms 112:1

  • Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.  Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.  Psalms 119:1-2

  • The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.  Psalms 19:8

I don’t typically associate obedience with joy, but in reflection it does make sense.  When we know that someone in authority has made a rule for a reason, then compliance and obedience is easy to follow.  For example, as parents our children know that we have rules setup for their protection and for their well-being.  Maybe it’s hard at first for a child to obey the rules, but over time, as they mature, they begin to understand more fully why those rules were put into place and how helpful they’ve been, are and will be.  I think it’s the same for the commands that God gives us.  It’s not always easy at first to obey, but God gives us the grace we need to follow through.  Then over time you can look back to see how following God’s ways has been a source of joy and blessing in your life. 

If you’re like me, and you’re looking to increase your joy, it’s worth considering what commandments we might continue to keep or begin to follow.  Maybe you need to start a rhythm that allows you to take a Sabbath rest each week.  Maybe you need to forgive someone that you’ve been harboring resentment towards.  Or maybe you need to take action on something that God has personally instructed you to do.  Whatever the case might be, it would serve us all well to find our source of joy in following the commands of the one who made us, loves us and wants the very best for us.  We can all find increased joy from an unexpected perspective.

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