Hello Church Family,
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9
The road to joy begins with praise, is walked in prayer, and steeped in reflection. It starts by knowing how infinitely rich we are because we belong to Christ, our Maker, and Redeemer.
A seemingly simple man, Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen of a monastery and later repaired their sandals. Over time, he developed a remarkable joy and sweetness, depth and wisdom, by “practicing the presence of God.” In everything he did and everything that happened, he recognized that God’s presence was what truly mattered, and every event factored into God’s plan. To Lawrence, nothing happened that was outside God’s good and acceptable and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
Christ Himself is our treasure, the wellspring of joy. And He’s right here with us—all the time, wherever we may be. Joy flows from walking with Jesus wherever we go—an infinite treasure who will never leave or forsake us.
We also have completely open communication with the Father. In Jesus name, we can ask God for anything, tell Him everything, and trust Him in all things. He listens, He cares, and He will answer. Access to the Almighty brings confidence. His wisdom gives peace. His love fosters rest.
Tell God everything you need, and expect Him to provide. When He answers, “No,” He has something better. Make thanks a habit, so you can keep the connection between what you receive and the good Lord who gave it. Let his omnipotence replace your weakness, and his enabling allay your fears.
But, believe it or not, joy is an acquired taste. It doesn’t just happen. We need to cultivate an appetite for the true riches in Christ. What holds your attention? What occupies your mind? Let God direct your focus to things of eternal value—things that satisfy and nourish the soul. Let God turn your eyes to what is …
• true and verifiable, not false and deceitful
• honorable and fitting, not demeaning or degrading
• righteous and consistent with God’s standards
• pure, without moral defect
• pleasing, winsome, and attractive
• deserving of approval and praise
• of outstanding quality and worth telling to others
Joy isn’t earned or bought. We have nothing to give God but everything to receive from Him. The road to joy is the path of walking with the Good Shepherd—following his guidance, learning from his wisdom, receiving his provision, basking in his goodness, and delighting in his glory.
Northpoint Prayer Ministry
– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays, or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive: https://northpointcorona.org/ministries/prayer/