My sure-fire recipe for JOY, contentment, & PROMOTION!

OK, so it’s not really MY sure-fire recipe ~ it’s the Bible’s! And every Christian I know could use more joy, contentment, and promotion from Jesus, so allow me to explain:

1. THE ONLY place on earth with fullness of joy… And it’s not Disneyland, a cruise ship to the Bahamas, a serene mountain hideaway without cell phone coverage… No, the ONLY PLACE that delivers absolute fullness of true joy is found here:

You will show me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

We were made for His presence Moses cried out for it at Mount Horeb, King David sought after it in the Judean wilderness, even Jesus Himself often slipped away to enjoy quiet times of prayer and fellowship with His Father – and if the Son of God needed time in His Father’s presence, how much more do you and I!

Fullness of joy, refreshing for weary hearts, renewing of our minds, strength for the battles ahead – all this comes as we wait on the Lord, and enjoy His presence.

2. CONTENTMENT: a rare and priceless treasure that money cannot buy. In fact, surveys indicate that the wealthiest people are generally the least content. Fame and success don’t equal a contented heart either – the opposite is often true, as external notoriety and achievement only magnify the lack of internal peace, and the soul becomes empty and disillusioned.

Real contentment is only found in surrendering our rights and yielding to the Father’s will. And sometimes getting to that place of true surrender is painful… Our wills can die hard, especially when it involves deeply-held dreams, and goals that are precious to our hearts.

It proved most costly for Jesus; on the darkest night any human has ever seen, with the prospect of the unimaginable suffering immediately ahead, Jesus found contentment and strength as He utterly relinquished His rights to the will of His Father:

“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;

Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will

O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it,

Your will be done.”

Matthew 26:39, 42

We forfeit so much peace, provision, and contentment when we cling to our own wills, rights, and direction. Surrender can be painful and scary, but it’s always met with the grace and strength to do what He calls us to. Truly: the path to true contentment lies in relinquishing our rights and embracing our Father’s will. He knows best, and does best too.

3. PROMOTION: when the way up is down. It runs counter to our flesh, to everything this world says and seeks, and to the power structure in the typical American church ~ yet it’s true: Jesus promises promotion to those who choose the “lowest place,” who embrace a life of servanthood and putting others ahead of themselves:

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled,

And he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,

that He may exalt you in due time.

1 Peter 5:6

There are blessings – both for now, and for eternity – reserved only for those who choose the path of humility. In little ways and little decisions every day, God provides us opportunities to put Him first by putting others ahead of ourselves… to live like Jesus did, so He can be glorified through us.

I pray that you experience the joy of His presence, the contentment of surrendering your will and embracing His, and the favor of Jesus as you follow His path of servanthood and humility this week.

Your servant in our precious Savior and glorious King,

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2017


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