Daily encouragement

Video by

Katie Fox

ACF Devo Team

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1 Chronicles 16:27

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

Behind the Scenes

“No season has all the joy," she said gently, one corner of her mouth tipping up in that kind, knowing, counselor kind of way.

And I realized, I think I've been believing the lie that there could be - there should be, in fact - a season somewhere on my horizon that does hold all the joy. All the happy moments I've been wishing for, none of the goodbyes I've been dreading; all the perfect circumstances I've been longing for, none of the heartache that always seems to linger uninvited. Shouldn't it be possible?

Because of my faith in Jesus, I know this will be a reality in heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:3-5). This joy-filled future I've been holding up as the ideal in my mind isn't totally a pipe dream, but when it comes to THIS world, I finally realized...it is.

Because no season has all the joy, especially when we are looking for our joy to be found in the circumstances, people, and things of this life. My counselor made the point that all seasons of our lives hold both joys and griefs; expecting one or the other isn't all that fair. What is more, just because a season contains a grief doesn't diminish the joys. Praise God that he gave us the capacity to hold both!

But we can take this truth a step further even, because the truest form of joy isn't found in our circumstances anyway: it's found in the presence of God. When we feel joy because of things like good friends, fulfilling jobs, healthy family, fun days, beauty seen in art, music, etc., what we're experiencing at the root of those things is the goodness and grace of God. Joy apart from him isn't really a thing; God is always at the heart of the things that bring us true joy.

Today's verse, a line from a song of praise recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:27, affirms this truth: "Splendor and majesty are before him," referring to God; "strength and joy are in his dwelling place."

Joy is not found in life going how I want it to, harmony in all my relationships, or beautiful experiences. Not really. Joy may be evidenced in those areas of my life because the presence of God touches them in some way, but the true, fullness of joy, Scripture tells us, is found in God's dwelling place.

Make it Real

And what's so beautiful about this verse is that it's even more exciting news for us today than it would have been for the choir of Asaph who originally sang it as they ministered before the Ark of the Covenant. For them, joy was found in God's literal dwelling place: the Tabernacle or, later, the Temple. To experience that fulness of joy, the Israelites did have to go somewhere. In a way, their joy did depend on their circumstances.

But Jesus changed everything when he sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers (Acts 1:8, 2:1-4). Because do you know where God's dwelling place is now?

It's YOU! When you are in Christ, you receive the deposit of the promised Holy Spirit, which means you carry the presence of the Living God wherever you go. If joy is found in God's dwelling place, I've got such good news: Joy dwells in you!

Come hell or high water, you carry joy in you today, my friend. And this means that, even when we realize no season has all the joy, our joy can still remain complete in HIM.

End in Prayer

Father God, thank you for your joy! Thank you for sending your Son to make our relationship right with you again, that we might become united with you through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Your presence is such a gift. Help me to see how your presence brings joy to my life in this holiday season. I want to find my joy in you alone. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Written by

Kimber Gilbert

ACF Devo Team Leader