Your Faith Journey
Is faith an event or a journey? Answer: Yes! There are points in time when faith must be exercised. So it’s easy to see faith as an event. However, growing in our faith is definitely a process. Romans 1:17 tells us we live from faith to faith. Each faith event challenges us to grow up in our faith. And these successive steps of faith comprise the disciple’s life journey.
JOY in the Journey
Today, I want to share 5 reasons for joy in your faith journey. There are many, many more. But how many of us link faith and fun? Faith really should resemble the cover image – and I don’t mean the water fight. That’s a picture of obvious fun. How do we get that into our concept of faith?
This short list is comes from the Psalms. Just take a minute to reflect on each one. Then celebrate what you get to enjoy during your faith journey! After all, it was Jesus Who said He came to give life and that more abundantly. And one step in realizing His vision from John 10:10 is to to shift our focus from our problems to His provision. Here’s five things He has provided:
1. God is your Shelter
But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. Psalm 5:11
It’s very obvious. Do you see it? It says, Be glad… Gladness is an instruction, along with singing for joy. And God has never commanded us to do what we cannot do. We can examine the beauty and glory of God and exult (rejoice!) in Him. Why? In Him alone there is complete love, eternal faithfulness, divine forgiveness and mercy, and everlasting life. Those are grand and glorious things. Now, which would you rather spend your time with: temporary problems or eternal awesomeness? Yeah, that’s one of those Duh questions.
2. Your Father’s Presence: Satisfaction!
You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11
The Word of God is alive and God reveals Himself in it. From Him we learn the trustworthy path to real life. Our Father is the One Who delights in giving good gifts to His children. And He gives all the way – not half way or some other measure. Notice: fullness of joy and pleasures forever. Found a reason for joy in your journey?
3. The Joy of Worship is Yours
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD. Psalm 27:6
In ancient cultures, disputes were settled by the King or an appointed magistrate. Opposing parties bowed before the official and made their case – never raising their heads or eyes to look at the official. That would have been improper. But when the decision was made it was signified by the raising of the head. Notice: …my head will be lifted up… God has found in our favor! Yes, we were guilty of sin. But in Christ there is now no condemnation. The King of Kings is the Lifter of our heads – see Psalm 3:3. And the joy of that reality is more than enough to cause us worship and shouts of joy and sing His praise!
4. God Rejoices in Your Prosperity
Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant. Psalm 35:27
Does that really say God delights in our prosperity? Yes, it does. But don’t miss the big picture and think that means nothing more than earthly riches. It certainly includes daily bread, but it also means His life that has been placed within us. The idea covers our physical health as well as our spiritual health.
5. My Stumbling Doesn’t Surprise Him
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12
I leave you with this one because this is where many of us need to start over from time to time. We are far too skilled in focusing on frets and failures and not living in the JOY our Father intends. We (I) need to pray these words that David prayed. And don’t be tempted to think God can be surprised by our weakness. I’ve shared this before, but take a look at Psalm 103:14 for confirmation. He never forgets that we are weak; He knows He formed us of dirt. Pick yourself up and enjoy the joy in your journey!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Thanks! Next post – an update from last week’s mission.