Joy Unleashed

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King Solomon, disillusioned and heavy-hearted, recorded these thoughts, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this too is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” Ecclesiastes 1:14-18.

As Solomon’s understanding about the goings-on in the world increases, his discouragement grows as well, because every activity proves meaningless. Chasing the wind produces exhaustion with no results. Joy alludes his grasp as if tethered somewhere beyond his reach.

He indulges in every earthly pleasure but finds no joy, because joy is connected to meaning.

Where there’s no meaning, there’s no joy.

I don’t know about you, but my heart needs joy to thrive. So I have to find meaning in order to unleash that joy. Memorizing Scripture is more than an activity to keep me busy and out of trouble—it’s a meaningful pursuit:

• The pursuit of God, discovering new things to know and love about him
• The pursuit of truth that unmasks self-deception
• The pursuit of Christ-likeness over the complacency of excuses
• The pursuit of joining God in fortifying his kingdom
• The pursuit of eternal ecstasies over temporal gratification

A couple of statements from the psalms:

“In your presence is fullness of joy” Psalm 16:11.
God’s Word on my lips keeps me interacting with him throughout my day. I’m acknowledging Him with His own words—how amazing is that? And in the middle of my ordinary routine, joy shows up. The Holy Spirit produces joy, like luscious fruit in summer.

“The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart” Psalm 19:8.
Much of life seems arbitrary, confusing and undefined. The puzzle has many missing pieces. So let’s invest our time in what is certain, solid and secure. Never mind chasing the wind. Learning God’s Word adds meaning to each new day. The payoff is now and later—joy unleashed—and no regrets.

We would all love to hear how God’s Word has brought joy into your life.

3 comments to Joy Unleashed

  • How has God’s Word brought joy into my life . . .

    Memorizing Scripture has been a means of knowing that God will never leave me nor forsake me. I have a heart condition that has spread to my other organs, including my brain. I get horrible exertion headaches, and sensory overload if there is too much input (or if I try some herculean task like walking too quickly to the bathroom, or vacuuming a room in my house). When the headaches come, God’s Word encourages me with His love; when my vision is so blurry that reading is not possible, God’s Word is there. When any noise (including audio Bible) is too much noise, the Holy Spirit speaks His Word at just the right volume. I know that memorizing is a direct work of God, and a display of His love and care for me. My short term memory has been affected: I can’t hold numbers, addresses, recipes in my head like I used to, but in the last 6 months I have memorized 100 verses of Scripture, and His Word is IN my heart! That is truly “in His presence is fullness of joy. . .” Psalm 16:11

  • Amy Calvetti

    Thank you for the perfect timing of your post. Last week was rough with multiple family dramas while I was back home in Iowa. I can relate to King Solomon. Multiple times I told myself “God is in control so be patient”. There wasn’t much joy and a whole lot of discouragement. I often think of the first verse I memorized.

    Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

    Through God’s word he has brought me joy. He speaks to my heart when I read and memorize his word. I know I would not have made it through this past year. Without God speaking to me through his word as I started my memorizing journey last April, I would have been swallowed up be discouragement. God’s timing is perfect indeed.

  • Janet, Beverly and Amy, thank you for sharing. The Word of the Lord does bring joy. There have been many times when memorizing and reviewing scripture that I have experienced overwhelming joy. Phillipians 4 was the second chapter I committed to memory, I go there frequently and am reminded to “rejoice in the Lord always” and to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report, and scripture is all of those things.