When God came to earth in Christ; when He walked in our fields, and ate at our tables; when He wore our clothes, and went to our weddings and cried at our funerals – He wanted us to know His joy. The cry of the human heart is for happiness. Our hearts are crying when they know they should be laughing. They are in turmoil and they know they should be at peace. Something is very wrong.
Jesus wanted us to know serenity despite heartache caused by life under the sun. Joy that flows from a heart untroubled by the troubles of life was intended to be a characteristic of His people. So one day He gathered His disciples around Him and said to them, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (Jn. 16:24). Then He prayed to His Father that “they” (the disciples) “May have the full measure of my joy with them (Jn. 17:13, italics mine).
Jesus also said, “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives (Jn. 14:26). He gives peace as only He can give it! So when you can’t praise Him for what He allows, praise Him for who He is, “in” what He allows. Receive His joy and peace. Often we think of prayer as giving. We give God information. We tell God all about it. (Although of course, He knows more about it than we do already!) Or we think of prayer as “asking” – reciting our shopping list for God. We need to learn to enter the presence of the Lord to receive as well.
Usually we rush into God’s presence and talk our heads off. We have limited time and we want to make sure we have our say. This leaves little time for God to respond! We finish praying and move on with our day – without allowing Him to give us something. Maybe He wanted to show us a word of encouragement in the Scriptures, or to bring to mind a person who might help us with a problem. Or perhaps just to settle our frantic spirits and give us tranquility. God is left with His blessing in His hands as He watches us rush away and resume our activities. God always has something for us. Make sure you take the time to receive it.
Just Between Us Magazine