Over the last few years, as I was going through dialysis and waiting for my kidney transplant, people often remarked on my joyful spirit. I explained my joy was part of the way God wired me and I have always tended to approach life with a joyful spirit. I shared how God was sustaining me daily through the encouragement of His words and through my friends and family.
While reading this portion of Psalm 43, I was grateful to find words which express the joy I experienced during my time of waiting and the joy I still experience on a daily basis.
Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!
Psalm 43:3-4 (NLT)
Being filled with joy sounds unattainable when our lives are going sideways, but it is possible to experience joy in our circumstances. Jesus promises His joy is available to us when we are connected to Him and following closely to His side.
When we want to stay connected to our friends and family, we reach out and spend time together. We call, send a text, or meet together at a park for a walk. When we’re together, we ask questions, checking in to see how life is going. We support one another as we share our difficulties and triumphs. We are intentional in making time to be together to grow and deepen our relationship.
The same is true if we desire to grow our relationship with Jesus. As we intentionally make time to spend with Him, we learn more about His character and unconditional love. His light and truth will begin to illuminate our minds as He gives us a fresh perspective. Our focus turns from ourselves, to His promises to guide and bring us joy.
Though joy can be hard to “feel” every day, I find it easier to be filled with joy when I am consistent in connecting with Jesus. I try to read my bible every morning. In the summer, I prefer to read and journal outdoors. As I pour my thoughts on paper, I release my fears and anxieties to Him and experience peace. Other days I prefer to walk in nature and talk to God, pouring out my heart in prayer. And on days where I’m tired, I might turn on worship music and let it wash over me. On the days I spend time with Jesus, it is easier to be filled with His joy.
What are some of the ways you like to connect with Jesus?