The Return of Joy

LIFE LINK DEVOTIONAL

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

In my humble opinion it has been a gorgeous autumn season so far.  The weather has provided opportunities for outdoor activities and work to be done. Landscaping projects, fishing, golfing, deer hunting, lawn mowing, garage cleaning, Cranberry Fest, all have been more enjoyable when the weather is this nice.

Sometimes I wonder why, with so much to do and so many opportunities to do it, I am satisfied to sit and do nothing. There are days when life seems so mundane. Why do the things that used to bring joy seem simply average and at times even meaningless?

At first, I attributed it up to old age and tiredness. But then this verse was in my devotions this morning. In context, Isaiah is writing about the nation of Moab, but in application he writes about me…and you.

Isaiah 16:9  The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled.  Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting.

The more the Moabites became comfortable and proud of their position, the less they depended upon God. They had not yet learned that joy comes only from the Lord. It is a fruit of the Spirit of God abiding within us. It can only be experienced if the Holy Spirit is filling us. He cannot fill us if we are filled with ourselves. So the loss of joy is the direct result of the choice we make to focus on self.

OUCH!

But I needed that ouch. You may have also needed it. Take some time right now and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the parts of your life where He is not in control, or where His involvement is being restricted by your self-involvement. Then repent of those things and invite Him to fill you. The Joy of the Lord will return and you will be strong again.

Pastor John