Authentic Joy

Background Story: David was chased by armies and people trying to kill him. But in the midst of his circumstances, he wrote the Psalms about how God is always there meeting his every need.

Read Psalms 16: 5-11

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Big Idea: Authentic joy is found in God.

Fake joy is all around us. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at social media and ask yourself if all those smiles are real. Often smiles are just a mask hiding what’s really going on inside. Authentic joy is not about feeling happy and smiley all of the time, but it’s an attitude of the heart that is present regardless of the circumstance.

In Galatians 5:22, the Bible says one of the fruits of the Spirit in a believer is joy. But after a year like 2020, how can we have authentic joy?

We can choose joy no matter the situation…

-when we see God as our “portion” and “cup” who “makes my lot secure” (v5). God is able to meet all of our needs and is faithful. When we try to live this life in our own strength, we become exhausted. Joy comes in relying on God’s strength and not our own.

-when we realize we have a “delightful inheritance” (6). If we are always comparing what we have with those around us, we will have a discontent heart. An ungrateful heart will steal joy and make you unable to appreciate God’s blessings in your life.

-when we “praise the Lord” (7). Praising God and remembering what He has done for us lifts our eyes off our troubles and brings joy to our heart.

-when we learn from God, “who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me” (v7). Getting our truth from God’s word and not from other sources clears the cobwebs of fear, worry, and doubt about our future and brings joy.

-when we follow God’s “path of life” (v11) and not our own. Satan has set pits of sin and sorrow in your path. Following God’s path of obedience leads to joy.

Today pray and surrender your life, path, and heart to God. Ask Him to renew your joy as you find your strength, purpose and future in Him.

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