Finding J-O-Y in God’s Word

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.

Jeremiah 15:16

I am in love with God’s Word. Have been ever since I was a teenager and my mother gave me a Living Bible.

I agree with Jeremiah, God’s Word is my joy and my heart’s delight. Daily I find new truths that encourage me, bring me closer to God, and make my heart happy.

It’s usually not too hard to find something meaningful in my daily Bible reading (except when I’m Leviticus!), but I’ve found that I discover more when I’m actually looking for something specific.

I know it’s not difficult to find joy in God’s Word, but maybe it would be even easier if I were specifically looking for it.

Here’s a way to find JOY in Scripture.

1. Jewel

First, let’s look for a jewel. Ask God to show you one specific thing that He wants you to know today. What word does He want you to carry around in your heart?

Jesus spoke to us in His Word so that we would have joy. He told the disciples:

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)

Look especially for a word of gospel–what God has done for you.

Here are a couple of jewels from my recent devotional times:

With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home. (Exodus 15:13 NLT)

Behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and of the age. (Matthew 28:20 Amp)

2. Obey

Next, let’s look for a word to obey. This may not seem a logical thing to look for when we are looking for joy, but the psalmist tells us:

 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. (Psalm 19:8)

God gave us His commands as an instruction manual to having a happy life. His laws are meant to lead us to a joyful and abundant life.

Here are a couple of words to obey from my quiet time:

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. (1 John 2:15)

3. Yearn

Lately I’ve been asking the Lord what exactly it is that He would have me yearn for. I figure that if I could just want what He wants, my life would be so much better.

I would be like the man in Jesus’ story:

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)

He was happy to give up everything he owned because he knew that what he had found was so much better!

I’m asking God to help me to do that. Asking Him to help me give up the things that really don’t give me joy (even though I may have thought I needed them in order to be happy). Asking that I will only be satisfied with what really brings joy. I search God’s Word to find the desires and heart attitudes that He wants me to have.

Here are a couple of verses that demonstrate what God wants me to yearn for:

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2 16-17 NLT)

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! (Matthew 5:3 Amp)

God’s Word is full of joy. As we look for a specific jewel to encourage us through the day, a word to obey, and a heart-yearning that God wants to instill, we will find that joy daily.

Question: What is your favorite way to study the Bible?

Comments

  1. Sharla, what a perfect acronym to find the full joy contained in God’s incredible Word. My favorite way to study the Bible is uninterrupted. Is that a way? Well, I guess it’s a preference. Yet it never ceases to amaze me when a passage I studied that morning comes into vivid play by day’s end. He prepared the way and invited us to step into His story already in motion. An incredible privilege, my Friend.

    • Donna, I love your method–uninterrupted. That’s what is so great about writing a Bible study book, right? We have the privilege of really digging into God’s Word!