One of my favorite things about summertime is going barefoot and the next best thing…wearing flip flops. I love them! Flip flops would be my year-round footwear of choice — if it were practical, which it almost is here in Augusta. It’s the little things that make me smile and my heart glad —flips flops, going barefoot in the summer grass or on a sandy beach, or enjoying summer rain. This week for Summer SOAK, let’s focus on those things we associate with summertime that bring a smile to our face. Let’s use these images to prompt us to praise God, who IS joy! He is our reason for rejoicing. He is our ultimate source of satisfaction and delight. Let’s rejoice in His presence this week!
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
Joy – we all want it in our lives, but at times it can seem to allude us. Too often we base our joy on our circumstances and feelings. Too often we confuse joy and happiness.
God’s joy is not the same as the world’s definition for happiness. Happiness is from a root word “hap” meaning by chance or circumstances. Our joy is not based on happenstance or circumstance. Our joy is based on a restored relationship with God through Jesus. And He is sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present!
Psalm 43:4 uses one of my favorite names of God, El Simhah Giyl. It means God, rejoicing joy!
God – ’êl– God, the one true God, Jehovah; mighty, strength, power
exceeding – simhah – joy, rejoicing, gladness, pleasure. It refers to the reality, the experience and manifestation of joy and gladness. It refers to a celebration of something with joyful and cheerful activities.
joy – giyl – to rejoice; from a root word meaning to spin around, rejoice. Rejoicing in the Lord is accompanied with proper fear and trembling as well (Ps. 2:11)
Joy is the overflow of the depth of my relationship with God, therefore I need to cultivate that relationship. Joy is found as I seek to imitate Christ and live in obedience to God’s Word. Joy is found as I yield to the Holy Spirit and His control in my life.
This place of wild joy – in God’s presence – is a place that is not bound by circumstance, time or feeling. It is the place of “in spite of…” where we can turn when we are troubled or discouraged, facing difficult people or circumstances, whether we have much or little, when things go our way and when they don’t, when we are feeling sad, happy or something in between. It is a place that is constant and enduring because this place is the presence of the ONE who is constant and enduring —our Lord God —El Simhah Giyl!
For You make him most blessed forever; You make him glad with the joy of your presence. —Psalm 21:6
Spend some time reflecting on the verses from today and on the fact that God is joy!
It’s my prayer that through this series we will, “from the rising of the sun to its setting”, focus on and praise our amazing God! We’ll take the Word for the day and think about it, ponder it, pray it and practice it. We’ll allow it to really SOAK into our hearts and lives. And then we’ll SHINE — boast, rave, praise and celebrate God’s presence in our lives, reflecting Jesus to those around us.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com