First Baptist Church of Vacaville

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Seven Truths about Joyful Living

Posted by Xochi E. Dixon on with 0 Comments

During the last few weeks of my mom’s life, she embraced God’s ultimate healing and testified with a mantra of unshakeable peace and heart-deep joy:

“God is good and that’s all there is to it.”

In a recent study of Psalm 100, I discovered seven truths that help me echo my mom’s mantra. God uses these truths to help me live in peace and joy that does not depend on my circumstances, my abilities, or my feelings.

1. Joy is a contagious attitude and a community adventure.

The psalmist begins with a simple invitation.

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.” (v. 1)

The privilege of proclaiming Jesus as our Lord and Savior is reason enough to shout joyfully, but the psalmist’s use of the phrase “all the earth,” affirms an aspect of joy often neglected.

We need community with God and others if we want to thrive in pure joy.

As God carries me through life’s ups and downs, I’m learning just how much He uses the church to strengthen my faith walk.

When one struggles, the rest of the church serves, encourages, and offers prayerful support.

When one rejoices, praise bursts through the sanctuary. The result?

We exalt God. We build up the church in love. Peace reigns.

And true joy becomes contagious to the world!

2. Serving is a community privilege to rejoice in, not an isolated chore to gripe about.

The psalmist writes, “Serve the LORD with gladness . . .” (v. 2a)

People who don’t know God watch closely when believers face hardships or handle conflict while working together. How we respond to problems, differences of opinion or big changes becomes our witness of God’s power and trustworthiness.

How we minister to one another, how we offer mercy to one another, how we backbite, gossip and compete with one another, become our unspoken testimonies.

Complaining, critical, and crotchety spirits make serving feel like drudgery. But the Bible teaches that serving others selflessly is a responsibility and privilege to be embraced joyfully, as we follow the example and the command of our Savior.

When we grumble without grace, speak with sour attitudes, or embrace friction before forgiveness, we are living in disobedience and are definitely not representing Christ’s attitude about servanthood.

3. True joy shines through sorrow or struggle.

The psalmist welcomes God’s people to “come before Him with joyful singing.” (v. 2b)

It’s important to remember joy doesn’t mean faking laughter, smiles, or an overzealous positive attitude.

True joy radiates when faithful saints surrender to God with loving grace and grateful praise.

Pure joy flows from a heart at peace with believing God, even when life hurts.

Lasting joy stems from confidence in who God is, was and always will be.

4. Knowing God personally increases joyful confidence in Him, while squelching our pride.

The psalmist declares, “Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.” (v. 3a)

The Lord, God and Creator, affirms life does not revolve around us. People are not designed to make our lives more comfortable or meet our selfish desires.

God blessed us with the Holy Spirit and the Bible, so that we can experience intimate relationships with Him and with others.

When we neglect spending time getting to know our Savior, our strength eventually depletes, our worries rise, our peace wanes, and our joy fizzles out.

But as we draw near to the Father daily, communing with Him though prayerful study of His Word, the Holy Spirit clears our vision and helps us to stand secure in who we are because of our relationship with Christ.

Joy becomes as natural as breathing when we remain focused on God, not our mirrors.

5. Joy roots deep in hearts that understand God loves and cares for us, because we are His.

“We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” (v. 3b)

We belong to God.

Our willingness to submit to, surrender to, and entrust every aspect of our lives to God results in joy in all circumstances and reveals true wisdom, courage and strength.

Because we’re beloved members of His flock, we’re never alone unless we choose to wander. Even then, our Good Shepherd goes above and beyond to care for us, reign us in, and renew us with His unconditional love.

He nestles us into holy community to experience the nurturing power of God and His family, where loving Him leads to loving others and joy abounds through authentic relationships.

6. With repentance and obedience to Christ, our joy is as secure as our place in eternity.

Because of the Lord’s glorious adoption, we can . . .

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (v. 4)

No matter what we’ve done or from where we’ve come, God thinks we’re worth dying for!

But God’s not dead.                                            

Jesus lives.

So, God thinks we’re worth living for.

We can rejoice as the Lord proves time and again that He is worthy of our grateful praise, now and forevermore.

7.  God’s unchanging character fuels our joy from now through eternity.

The psalmist writes, “For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” (v. 5)

Because God is good, His loving kindness is constant, dependable and trustworthy.

His faithfulness reaches through generations past and into all generations to come.

He secures our peace with the promise of a future in Him.

He empowers us to live in obedience to His Word, rest secure in the peace of His constant and mighty presence, and love Him and others with joy that truly does not depend on feelings or circumstances.

As we experience the power of these seven truths in our day-to-day living, we can offer God grateful praise like the psalmist of Psalm 100.

And like my mom, we can joyfully declare with quiet and confident strength, “God is good and that’s all there is to it.”

 

Tags: faith, hope, joy, worship

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