This way to JOY!

Build an altar there to the LORD your God…sacrifice peace offerings on it also, and feast there with great joy before the LORD your God.—God’s hand was on the people…giving them a strong desire to unite in obeying the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the LORD…So for seven days the celebration continued.  Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people confessed their sins to the LORD, the God of their ancestors…then decided to continue the festival another seven days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week…The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced…There was great joy in the city!—For when the LORD restores His people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

The life of the godly is full of light and joy!

Yes! turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon…“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine….I send [my Word] out and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  You will live in joy and peace….”—When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.  Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.—Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing.—But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Deut.27:7 NLT; II Chr. 30:12,22-26 NLT; Ps. 14:7 NLT; Pr. 13:9 NLT; Is. 55: 7,8,11,12 NLT; Jn.15:10-11 NLT; I Chr.16:10-11 KJV; I Thess.5:16-17 ESV; Ps.5:11 KJV

None of us sets off to find misery but it is the inevitable consequence of following our own hearts and ignoring God’s.  Meanwhile the way to Joy stands open. Wisdom calls. God woos.  A way is made in the wilderness… Repent and believe!  Follow Me and know Joy!

I made my way this morning from Old to New Testaments reading one chapter in each of the genres along the way.  JOY was the common thread winding through them.  There is great JOY in being right with God.  It seems we were designed for the JOY of fellowship with our Creator.

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest lies at large in the world is that if there is a God, He is a curmudgeonly somebody that means to make you miserable and you’d best think for yourself and choose your own way.  Generations have proven the results of this bad advice that first popped up in the Garden with the insinuation:  “Hath God said, ye shall not…” 

But the record stands… God is merciful and gracious.  He will abundantly pardon.  His Word marks the way to transcendent joy.  It’s a path our hearts won’t find without Him.

–LS

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Ps.16:11 ESV

 

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