Back when our girls attended a homeschool co-op, their Shakespeare class learned a section from one of his plays. The teachers wanted to get outside of the classroom and actually record the kids performing a few scenes. We parents brought our children to a local park, and they all scouted around to find the best locations for filming. They wanted each act to have a particular feel to it, so they had to “set the stage” to make it look good on camera.
When we talk about the fruit of the Spirit – joy being the one we’re highlighting for November – we realize that the fruit is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. Yet we can also take action to cultivate our joy. We can “set the stage,” if you will, in our life to help us grow that joy.
On Tuesday, we talked about 3 ways to find joy. Today I want to look at another way we can nurture joy in our lives.
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” ~Jeremiah 15:16
Focusing on the Word of God brings me joy.
One of the best chapters in the Bible on God’s Word is Psalm 119. Let’s look at some key verses from that chapter.
Joy comes as I keep God’s commandments and fully seek Him.
Verse 2 ~ “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
If I’m looking for God’s blessing in my life, I should obey commands I find in the Bible. And once again, we see that it’s not a half-hearted effort that God is interested in, but a full-on pursuit of Him.
I rejoice as I recognize the incredible value of God’s Word.
Verse 14 ~ “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.” Also verse 127 ~ “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”
The Scriptures we can hold in our hands are more valuable than any earthly possession we have or could obtain.
I should see the principles in God’s Word as delightful to follow, not as a list of rules that I must keep.
Verse 16 ~ “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.“
Are we delighted when we find instruction in the Bible that God convicts our heart about? Remembering what God’s told me to do in His Word, and then actually following through on that command, can bring joy to my heart.
Make decisions based on principles and truths found in God’s Word.
Verse 24 ~ “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”
While I can’t give a Scripture reference that tells me what television shows or movies our family should watch, I can certainly find a Bible principle that lets me know what Christians should allow into their minds. By prayerfully reading God’s Word, I can discover truths that lead me to make right decisions.
God’s Word brings me peace and comfort in difficult times.
Verse 50 ~ “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”
Here’s where I run to the Psalms! So many verses there – as well as in other parts of the Bible – give us comfort. It also brings life back into our soul when we’re feeling so weary.
God’s Word will always be true and beneficial for my life.
Verse 111 ~ “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
Praise God that His word never changes! There’s no “latest information” or “updates” that are going to make His promises null and void.
Uncovering truth from God’s Word can bring me as much joy as discovering buried treasure.
Verse 162 ~ “ I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.”
I’d love to approach my Bible reading this way each day – just looking for the treasure of truth that God wants to reveal to me.
I’m so thankful for the joy we find in God’s Word! Making time to read it and meditate on it will “set the stage” for joy to flourish in every season of life.