El Simchath Gili

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 

Psalm 43:4

What brings you joy? Is it watching children play? Listening to the giggles of small children? Hearing a band or orchestra play a certain song? A choir singing a certain song? Going to concerts with your friends? One of the things that brings me so much joy is my nieces and nephews. I talk about them in my blogs a lot, because I absolutely adore them. I absolutely love spending time with them, whether it be playing UNO, swimming, or just being silly. I had the joy this fall of helping three of them make a birthday poster for their mom. My brother is deployed and asked me to help them do this and I am so glad he did. The four of us had such a good time. I have 10 nieces and nephews. When my mom died, my dad got remarried and I gained 2 more nephews. I hope to meet them someday, but I love seeing their pictures on Facebook.

But this brings me to another thing about joy.  So many people believe that joy and happiness are the same thing … they most definitely are NOT!  When my mom died, I was definitely not happy, but I felt joy.  Joy knowing that she was no longer in pain; joy that she was in the presence of Jesus.  You can be sad and joyful at the same time! 

I found a resource that made some really cool points about that short verse at the beginning … Psalm 43:4.  Joy is found at the altar of God.  We find joy when we are in fellowship with other believers and we meet together to worship Him. 

Joy is found in God.  We don’t find joy in our circumstances.  Joy is not found in money or power or prestige.  Sometimes our circumstances are sad or scary!  We have been through trauma in our lives and that is not something that will bring us joy!  When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can still find joy.  I believe that finding joy in Jesus is one of the things that helps us to move from victim to survivor! 

Finally, joy is solidified as God is seen as exceeding joy.  That is what this name of God means:  God, My Exceeding Joy.  Look again at the words of the psalmist … God is my joy and my delight.  Those two words bring so much beauty to my imagination.  And so much peace. 

Jesus told the disciples that joy was in Him:

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 

John 15:11

Our joy can be complete in Him!  We are full in Him.  We aren’t lacking anything.  There is a song that you have probably heard that speaks to this focus that we need to have on Him. 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, sister.  He will give you joy that you can not describe!

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