A Prayer for a Joyful Heart
By: Chelsey DeMatteis
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4
It can be easy to get caught up in the hard or uncontrollable circumstances of life. I know I sure have. I spent one season in particular feeling conviction over my lack of joy. Yes, some things took place that would validate a not so joyful response, but as for my call as a Christ-follower; I’m called to have joy because of Him. Have you been in one of these seasons too? The type where your circumstances felt like a swell in the ocean?
In this season I was reminded that in our Christian life, joy doesn’t hinge on our seasons of life. Our joy can and should fully stem from our relationship with the Lord and all that He has done for us, and all that He will do in the ages to come. Paul has always stood out for me as one to glean wisdom from when it comes to the sometimes difficult topic of joy. He was shipwrecked (multiple times), endured much persecution, ministered in prison, and yet he counted it all as joy for the sake of Christ.
We’ve been given through Christ’s bloodshed on the cross the gift of true unending joy. A joy that is unchanging and unshakable because it is eternal; it was bought at calvary. This true joy from Christ doesn’t hinge on our circumstances, abilities, or the standards of the world. This is good news. This is why we’re able to live out Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” It's not about rejoicing in me, but it's the call to rejoice always in Him.
As I journeyed through that difficult season of seeing that my joy was hinging on me, I found myself seeking the joy of the Lord in all things. The things He was doing; the small moments, the mundane moments, and the big moments. I got to see firsthand that there is always something to rejoice about. On the hardest days, I could rejoice in these: my hope in the Lord, my thankfulness for sanctification, the eternal glory that awaits us.
Today, I pray that you will count it all as joy for the sake of Christ. Cling to Him through the hard things and praise Him for how He is sustaining you. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit and seek our Heavenly Father's heart in all that comes before you each day. Pray often, be in the Word, and set your joy in the One who endlessly loves you.
Pray with me…
Thank you for this day and for our joy set in you. I pray that I will look to you Lord as my true source of joy and not my circumstances or abilities. Lead me as I grow in my awareness of your conviction and help me as I walk boldly in the areas I need to grow. Thank you for the cross and the gifts we've been given because of the sacrifice of your son, Jesus. A gift so undeserved but one for which I am so deeply thankful. Grow my gratitude and joy, Lord!
In Jesus's name, Amen.
Chelsey DeMatteis is a wife, SAHM, and host of the Living With Less Podcast, birthed from John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” She’s a devotional writer for Lifeway’s Journey Magazine, iBelieve.com, Crosswalk.com, and YouVersion Bible App! You can connect with Chelsey on IG @livingwithlesspodcast, her podcast episodes air every Wednesday and check out her free resources at www.ChelseyDeMatteis.com!
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