The Source of Joy
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice! — Philippians 4:4
“There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.”
— The Confessions of St. Augustine
I’ve never been a person who has had a hard time being happy. In fact, most of the people who I know are pretty optimistic and glad with their lives. If you think about it, in our contemporary culture in the United States, who wouldn’t be? We live in one of the greatest countries in human history. We are at the top of the world when it comes to materialistic blessings. Most of us live pretty healthy lives. We have access to cutting-edge medicine and scientific techniques that have lengthened our life expectancy to over 80 years. For most of us, we will live our lives without feeling any sense of want. Our jobs provide the necessary resources to put food on our tables and nice roofs over our heads. This country provides us with immeasurable freedoms and choices. We can travel at will…eat anywhere we can afford…visit historical and natural attractions in order to expand our knowledge of our environment. Bottom line: no wonder we’re happy!
It’s important in times of joy and abundance that we remember to give credit to Whom the credit is due. As the Bible says, “every good and perfect gift comes from God.” (James 1:17) God is the source of our joy. God is the Creator of happiness and peace. In fact, everything that you and I experience in this world that is good is ultimately an expression of the God Who brought it into being.
I love the two quotes at the top of this devotion. In the Scripture passage from Philippians, the Apostle Paul tells us to rejoice, not in circumstances or even the blessings that we have, but in the originator of all good: God! There is really no one else or nothing else that gives us the opportunity to enjoy life, from the air we breathe to the beauty that surrounds us daily. In every gift, in every situation, in every relationship, in every experience and person who brings a smile to our face, the blessings we receive all come from the very hand of God. Today, rejoice IN THE LORD! Give credit to Whom credit is due!
- Try this “spiritual discipline” today. As you drive around your neighborhood or city, as you walk through your life, take a moment and say, “thank you, Jesus” for everything you see. Get in the habit of saying thanks to God for every good and perfect gift.
- Make a list of those things in your life that bring you joy. Post the list in a place where you can see it as a reminder of the blessings of God.
James 1:12-18; Colossians 1:13-23; Psalm 63