Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 4, 2011
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6).
Life can squeeze out your joy. Like an exhausted slice of lime or lemon, there is nothing left. You have flavored the life of others by giving to them, but now nothing remains for you. Your joy is gone. You need a revival of joy. Maybe you are battling health issues or financial woes. The pressure has gotten the best of you. Like the crushing of grapes in the preparation of wine, your juices of joy have been depleted. The only remains are dried and parched skins. You are tapped out. You are in desperate need of a jolt of joy.
You need joy to bridge you from your position of burnout back to your role as joy giver. Isn’t it ironic that we can fall victim to the very thing we see as a deficiency in others? No one is immune to slipping into a joyless life. In fact there will be seasons that joy will elude us like water in the desert. We need a new infusion of joy. The revival of joy is ongoing. You can only run so long, and then you must stop and refill your joy tanks.
You can remember when work brought you joy, but now you are maintaining at best. Marriage was bliss in the past—-full of joy—-but now you just coexist. Your relationship with God once erupted with joy, but now it is stale and distant. A revival of joy refills you on all these fronts. Revival assumes that joy once existed. Joy reigned over many aspects of your life, but certainly the joy of your salvation was once preeminent. To revive something means you bring it back into existence, back to life. So the best place to start the revival of anything is with God.
God specializes in resurrecting and reviving. He can take what is dead or dormant and breathe life into it. The breath of God gives joy. God’s breath is not stale or repugnant. On the contrary, His breath is fresh and rejuvenating. Like an asthmatic gasping for air, we struggle in need of God’s oxygen. Life’s struggles wear us down to a pulp. We need the breath of God to revive our joy. But, you may need to alter your proximity to benefit from the breath of God. His breath is most effective up close and personal.
Like an inhaler, you need God daily in your face to transmit His joy. The joy of the Lord is not captured from a distance. It is inhaled and ingested from a position of intimacy. Do not let your joylessness leave you incoherent. God wants to clear your heart and mind. Joy is on the way, like the arrival of the cavalry in the heat of the battle. Let God rescue you, revive you, and set you back on a joy-filled journey. You are not defeated in Christ. The enemy is the loser. He is the joy killer, but his advances are temporary. Allow God to resuscitate your joy. The world won’t. Work can’t. People fail. And money is an illusion of joy.
So, go to the creator, dispenser and sustainer of joy. Lean on the one full of joy, Jesus. He will bring your joy back to life as He was brought back to life—-full and robust. Let Him make your joy complete. His joy is your strength. Some things never change and His joy is one of them. Start by simply thinking back on when you exchanged self for a savior. You opened the door to your life and Jesus entered with a housewarming gift. It was a beautiful basket full of joy. Relive that experience and reengage with Him. His joy is not jaded—-it is just right. Your joy will rub off on others, and the revival of rejoicing in God will extend from one person to another. Be joyful in Jesus, because He is the reason!
Taken from Dose 66 in the 90-day devotional book Infusion.
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