Bible Passage for Meditation: Psalm 16:8-11
Key Verse: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11, NKJV
Have you ever seen a Christian who seems to be sad all the time? They hardly smile, and while professing to serve Christ and holding to many high standards, they do not seem to have much joy. Maybe you are such a person?
Unfortunately, I used to be such a person. I very rarely smiled. I was not sad all the time, but I simply did not know how to be a joyful person. Even my family would tell me, “You need to smile more, Raluca!”
However, one day things began to change. God took hold of my heart. He showed me how much He loved me and how He longed to spend time with me in prayer. Drawn by His love, I began to spend more and more time with Him. As a result, I could not contain my joy. I had joy and peace in my heart like I’d never had before.
A few months after that, I met a friend whom I had not seen since college days. Her reaction made me realize for the first time how visible the change was in my life. She could not believe it was really me with such a huge smile on my face.
Ellen White tells us in The Desire of Ages, “When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the joy of heaven. . . . The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God” (p. 173).
In another place we are told, “Those who abide in Jesus will be happy, cheerful, and joyful in God” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 625).
Today I can happily say, the joy of the Lord is my strength! What about you?
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Father, we thank You for giving us joy and peace in our hearts. Thank You that in Your presence there is fullness of joy. We pray that You help us surrender all our being to You so that we can rejoice in Your salvation. As we worship You today, help us to be happy, cheerful, and joyful Christians. May it not be a mask, but come from a genuine relationship with You. We pray that You grow in us joy, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. May Your Holy Spirit dwell in us, and may others see on our faces the joy of heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Raluca Ril
(Raluca is co-author with her husband, Roman, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. She and her husband currently serve as missionaries in Germany. To read more of Raluca’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)