Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Joyful INSIDE and OUT


Psalm 16:9-11 (MSG) I'm happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I'm firmly formed. (10) You canceled my ticket to hell-- that's not my destination! (11) Now you've got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I'm on the right way.


David's heart was glad-he had found the secret to joy. True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God's presence within us. As we contemplate his daily presence, we will find contentment. As we understand the future he has for us, we will experience joy. Don't base your life on circumstances, but on God.

David stated confidently that God would not leave him in the grave. Many people fear death because they can neither control nor understand it. As believers, we can be assured that God will not forget us when we die. He will bring us to life again to live with him forever. This provides real security.


After teaching His disciples the need for obedience, Jesus told them, "I have said these things to you that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete" (John 15:11 NIV). According to Jesus our problem is not that we're too happy for God's taste, but that we aren't JOYFUL enough. Nehemiah writes, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). We've greatly underestimated the necessity of joy. Joy is strength. Its absence creates weakness. Failure to live a deeply satisfying spiritual life always has the effect of making sin more attractive - therein lies the strength of temptation.

Psalm 68:3 says, "Let the righteous be joyful."

Joyfulness is a learned skill, but also a "Fruit of the Spirit." It's also a daily decision, one that lifts us above our circumstances. When we celebrate each day, we're exercising our ability to see and feel God's goodness in things we wouldn't have noticed before. As a result our capacity for joy increases.

The first step in pursuing joy is simply to begin - now! "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24). We live with the illusion that joy will come someday, like when we go to school and graduate, or get married, or have children, or when our children grow up and leave home; then they do, and we think we were happier when they were still with us. David says if we don't rejoice today we won't rejoice at all. If we wait until conditions are perfect we'll be waiting when we die. If we are going to rejoice, it must be this day.

We can be joyful on the inside and the out! When you have joy on the inside, your outside will be affected...I say it again today, SMILE!

Romans 12:8 if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Psalm 42:5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God-- soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.

Proverbs 15:13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.


"Lord, help me to be reminded today, that as a Christian it is not only ok for me to SMILE, it is very appealing and spiritual! You are such a good God...You put a SMILE on my face. Thank you for making me joyful on the inside and the outside. I choose today to walk in that "joy unspeakable and full of glory!" In Jesus name, amen!"