2017 Day 18 – Fullness of Joy

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

What a beautiful verse to start my day with today. What promises!

When I am near God, I find fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Obviously, I won’t have complete joy and eternal pleasures NOW because I won’t be completely in Jesus’ presence until I die.

But I can taste some of that joy now. The Psalmist doesn’t say that God provides things that bring us joy and pleasure.

No, I experience joy and pleasure by being near God, in his presence, at His right hand. My relationship with God HIMSELF (not what He gives me or does for me) gives me joy and pleasure.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn: St. Paul in Prison

Paul in Prison by Rembrandt

The Apostle Paul knew this. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul used the word joy over and over (at least 10 times in this short letter ).

He wrote this letter while under house arrest in Rome (with the threat of death hanging over his head), yet Paul was filled with joy because of his relationship with Jesus.

Jesus was his life. Jesus was all he wanted:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  Philippians 1: 21-23

Philippians is my favorite epistle. I’ve taught it many times and from it I derived my life verse:

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.  Philippians 3: 8

Psalm 16 and Paul’s Philippian letter both remind me that I’ll find fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore by knowing Jesus, having a deep intimate relationship with Him.

That’s the Holiday at Sea I long for.

That’s why I am blogging this year.

I want to know Jesus better in 2017 than in any previous year. I want to walk more closely with Him this year, talk more frequently with Him this year.  I want to fall more deeply in love with Jesus in 2017.

And as I do, I’ll find fullness of joy.

Dear Lord: Thank you so much for giving me Philippians 3:8 as a life verse back in my 20s. I am so grateful that year after year, other things that might satisfy have turned to rubbish when I find my joy in you. Thank you that as I seek you, you promise I’ll find you. I look forward to drawing closer to You this year. Amen.

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