Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Trusting God Part 17 - Where to Find Joy

Fall will bring changes of some kind for most of us. Life’s changes can be challenging and fun. They can also be demanding and can sometimes deplete our strength. Did you ever notice that when your strength fades often your joy goes with it? Lately I’ve asked God to show me, in a new way, just how His Word works when it says “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. It can sound so trite and religious and I wanted a fresh application of both His joy and His strength in the changes and demands of life.

God usually answers my questions for more understanding right from His Word. I read an old verse and the impact of it hit me with a freshness.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence”. Psalm 16:11

Suddenly it was very clear…in God’s presence is where I find joy…and this joy would bring the needed strength in my life. Yes, I knew it to be true…but the fresh perspective that I needed was the reminder that this is the very oxygen of my life and must be a high priority.

Spending time in God’s presence…it’s more than the quick nod we often give God as we hurry on with our day. If I take the time to be with God, His joy will fill me and strengthen me for whatever lay ahead in each new day and new challenge. How does it happen?

God reminded me that just as I scheduled in all my other appointments and agendas this fall, I needed to not forget to schedule in specific times with Him.

In those scheduled times

I take my coffee and my worship music and often listen to a whole CD…just letting the words of the songs become my prayers and till up the ground in my heart that has become hardened by my busyness.
I open my Bible and often a devotional book and I ask God to speak to my heart. Being unhurried is so important. Then I listen to the still, small voice in my heart.

I write down the impressions I receive and I pray. This is not the time I bring all the other requests to God. I pray for me…for forgiveness for the hardened parts I found in my heart, the attitudes or motives that need to go; I pray for the items on my “to do” list and ask God’s help with them; I talk honestly to Him and tell Him where I feel overwhelmed or insecure and I ask for His strength in my weak areas. I ask for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.

As fall approaches and your calendar begins to fill, schedule some specific times with God beyond your quick daily devotion. We make time for what is important to us. As you do this you will find the strength you need in your life and new joy will come. Don’t try to live without it!

prayer & reflection

Father God,
Thank you for reminding me where I need to go to find strength and new joy. Help me to be determined and tenacious in keeping my times with You protected and high priority. I need You, Lord.
I ask this in Jesus powerful name, Amen.