Inexpressible Joy

By Ryan Dawson

Where do we find true joy?  This past Sunday we looked at Psalm 126 in our Pilgrim Songs series, which speaks to our source of joy.  We learned that God initiates joy in our lives, so we have to receive it from Him, because “in His presence there is fullness of joy.”  (Psalm 16:11).  We can’t manufacture or manipulate joy into our lives; we simply need to yield to the Spirit of Jesus, who is all Joy.  

How is your joy quotient this week?  One of the joy killers in our lives is to seek our security and significance in our abilities and success.  I see this is my own life too often, as I struggle with being a “performance addict”.  When we look to our performance to tell us who we are we will never experience lasting joy, because we are held hostage to circumstances and our ability to make things happen.  

Where is your confidence today?  Is your confidence in your self, your achievements, your reputation, your skills, your wealth, your religious heritage, or your moral ethic?  Or is your confidence in your relationship with Jesus, and is Jesus the one who gives you security and salvation?    When we look to our self for security and salvation (an “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me” attitude) we are caught in a performance trap.  We seek to measure up, but fail to do so, and we are always striving for the next thing to give us a sense of security and well-being.  There is very little lasting joy to be found in this type of life.  

But the good news is that Jesus wants to set us free from all this.  He came because he knows none of us measure up, and we need grace, which is a gift we don’t deserve.  God’s grace enables us to experience true joy.  This joy is rooted in a relationship with Jesus and a realization that I am unconditionally loved more than I can imagine.  

1 Peter 1:8-9 tells us:  “You love him [Jesus] even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.  The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”

Are you in a performance trap?  Do you feel you need to measure up in some way?  Are you looking for security and significance in your success and joy in your circumstances?  Does all that seem elusive and fleeting?  Allow God’s love to wash over your heart and release you from your striving.  Take two minutes right now to sit quietly and experience the grace Christ has for you.  Do you feel that?  It’s the joy of God filling you to overflowing because you are deeply loved!  

I’m praying that you experience “inexpressible joy” this week.  
With love and joy, Ryan