November 2, 2012

Increasing Joy

When I discovered the “wildlife preserve” within a few hundred yards of our new home, I was excited to explore the trail that winds around and through it. As I started to walk, I was smiling. My delight increased as I went on. By the time I was back at the beginning, I didn’t want to go home. 

Today’s devotional verse describes the same increasing of pleasure as I walk with Jesus, only instead of enjoying trees and singing birds, my source of joy is the One who created these things!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Those on the path of life (meaning eternal life) live in the presence of a joy-giving God. While I am responsible to stay on that path, God promises increasing and deeper joy as I go on my journey. As John Piper says in his book, The Pleasures of God, God is a happy God. Simply being around happy people is contagious; imagine being around this happy God, walking through life at His side, feeling His joy and experiencing His peace, even His laughter!

The path covers all of life’s experiences. Some of them are pleasant; some of them are difficult. Yet in all, God is with me and remains joy-giving, no matter what I experience. He knows the end of the trail and when I reach it, I will not want to go back. He knows what delights lie ahead and I can sense His anticipation, His eagerness to give me all that He has for me.

Someday my joy will be complete, without any sorrow or pain to threaten or suppress it. For now, I look forward to this greater joy when “that higher world shall be reached, and the shadows of time have passed away forever” because then I will be standing at His right hand, fully in His presence — where there are pleasures forevermore.

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