In Search of Joy

13 Mar

“Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,” (Psa 40:4a NLT)

That must be easy for King David to say.  David survived many battles, rose to be King of Israel, and clearly enjoyed God’s favor.

But what about us?  I must confess that I don’t wake up every morning with joy and trust on my mind.  I’m not David.

So… are those joys that David describes only for a select few, or can everyone experience them?

David’s Source of Joy

If we’re searching for joy, it makes sense to try to locate where joy comes from.  Does it come from within ourselves?  Does it come from others?  Or does it come from our surroundings?

Our prayer group covered Psalm 40 this morning.  It tells us a lot about David’s view of the source of joy.  In short, joy comes from trust… in the Lord.

Again, it’s easy for us to picture David, the successful King, rambling on about how awesome God is.  But read through all of Psalm 40 and you’ll see that David is writing out of a time of distress and trouble.  Does this sound like a guy whose life is all giggles?

“For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.” (Psa 40:12 NLT)

That’s the same David, in the same Psalm, who talked about joy just 8 verses before.

Sure, you say… David’s troubles are the troubles of a King.  He’s probably struggling to figure out what to do with the piles of money he has… whether to upgrade his kitchen to granite countertops or imported marble.  Maybe he’s trying to decide on where to build his summer palace.  You know… rich people problems.

And yet David says:

“As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay.” (Psa 40:17 NLT)

Study David’s life in detail and you’ll find there was just as much strife as there were good times (1 Samuel 16 is a good starting point).  David often cries out to God in the midst of being usurped from the throne, running for his life and hiding in caves, and fighting family insubordination.

And yet, David continually speaks of God’s unfailing love.  David has joy in good times and bad.  That tells me a lot about David’s view of joy:

  • Joy doesn’t depend on present circumstances
  • Joy is more about surrender than surroundings
  • For joy to last, it must be based in something everlasting

The Good News About Joy

If David can reflect joy despite his rocky road in life, and if David’s joy is found in trust in the Lord, then that means I can experience lasting joy.  The main lesson I take from David is that joy isn’t a moment, it’s a mindset.  As we focus on a God who will not fail us, we can experience joy no matter where we are in the journey.

In a pit of despair?  Trust!

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.” (Psa 40:1–2 NLT)

A little unsteady on your feet?  Trust!

“He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” (Psa 40:2 NLT)

Tempted to trust the latest fad to find happiness and joy?  Trust… in God!  Look at the full verse we started with:

“Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.” (Psa 40:4 NLT)

And what’s the best news about this kind of joy?  It’s contagious!

“Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” (Psa 40:3 NLT)

I pray that you will find joy in trusting the one who never fails, no matter where you find yourself today.  That kind of joy is possible… just ask David!


Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Reflection


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2 responses to “In Search of Joy

  1. Patricia Walsh

    March 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    love this… sharing

    • billhogan77

      March 15, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Thanks Patricia… and thanks for sharing!

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