finding deeper joy in Jesus



Each day leaves markers of mystery, holy echoes of eternity. If we come with open hands, open hearts and receptive minds, we are in a good place to see and sense God’s footprints in the familiar, the way He frames each day with the supernatural.

Days when pain pervades stronger than before, weeks where weeping and weariness are our cloak and covering, we may fail to see God’s presence through the fog of our existence.

Yet it is there, in tiny threads weaving their way through each hour – grace glimmers shining like gold in the midst of life’s detritus.

It takes a willingness to expand our inner vision to heavenly hands holding us close. It takes a determination to want to rise above the dark cloud of our circumstances.

It takes faith and endurance and a deliberate seeking after joy when pain and grief sit heavy as stone. Because we only begin to sense God’s nearness when we take our eyes off the problems and invite Him to reveal Himself to us, then look to Him instead.

It also requires honest confession of our feelings, vulnerability and a deciding not to hide ourselves from Him. And so we let ourselves be held, simply caught in arms of Love. All our deepest needs are met here: at the foot of the cross, by the Father’s side, within the arms of Jesus, where heaven’s unlimited provision is made available to us.

We rest our weariness, surrender our stress, anxiety and fears, allow grace and compassion to enter in, to fill and flood hearts that were previously downcast. Our feelings may take a while to match up with our faith, and that’s okay.

We soon discover joy is wrapped up best in the person of Jesus. He tenderly collects all our tears, bathes our wounds in heavenly Light. God’s radiance sears joy back into sad souls, enlivens tired minds, floods fearful hearts with an anchor of hope.

God awakens us anew to anticipation as He alerts us to His constant outpouring of grace and continual presence. He restores, refreshes and revives our lives. We find praise and gratitude begin to bubble to the surface, flowing from a heart now set on fire by Holy Spirit joy.

And we can rise, go forth into the fray with an extra zest in our steps, with a renewed awareness of God’s constant closeness strengthening us for all that lies ahead, giving a fresh measure of grace for each new day.

May these lyrics (from ‘Just be Held’ by Casting crowns) and listening to the song below help lift and encourage you: “Come to Me, find your rest in the arms of a God who won’t let go.”

31-days-of-journeying-into-joy-badgeWelcome to #day16 of #write31days of journeying into joy. I so appreciate you being here, friend! 

Together we can support, encourage and pray for one another as we learn how to journey deeper into joy.


12 thoughts on “finding deeper joy in Jesus

  1. Reblogged this on Call to Witness and commented:
    Whenever I run into bumps in the road of life,
    During those moments when I hit horrible snags.
    I surrender my cares unto the Lord and He holds me,
    Peace is secured as I accept the loving arms of God.
    When I go my way and I stumble to the ground,
    During my pilgrimage, I get tripped up by worries.
    That is when I cry out to the Almighty and lifts me up,
    He hears my pleas and He picks me up from despair.
    When this world has broken me with its burdens,
    When the sorrow of the world bring me down to the dust.
    I lift my eyes to the King and He will remove my burden,
    Joy will take away sorrow when I look upon my Savior.
    So now I will give praise to the Lord who holds me,
    I will give thanks to God for He saw me when I was low.
    Sadness is turned to gladness when I see my King,
    When I behold the Almighty, fear turns to courage.

  2. Dear Joy, What a beautiful and encouraging song and word to help start this day when weariness threatens to overwhelm me. This song was one that my counselor and I shared early on in my process to learn how to view my pain differently. Thank you for this reminder that I so deeply needed today. The JOY of JESUS is always there, though I may have to dig deeper to find it. May He continue to hold you as well, my friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, this song has spoken to me many times and served as a great reminder to let go the stress and busyness, the expectations and concerns, and just rest in God, stay and let myself be held when life is making me feel weary, overwhelmed and fragile. It’s amazing how He arranges words, thoughts and timing to bless others who read what we share, isn’t it? May you hold on to the JOY of JESUS, lean into His grace and allow joy and strength to wash over you as you wait in His presence. xox ❤

  3. I love that Casting Crowns song. THIS: “And so we let ourselves be held, simply caught in arms of Love. All our deepest needs are met here: at the foot of the cross, by the Father’s side, within the arms of Jesus, where heaven’s unlimited provision is made available to us.” Leaning into his arms today and always.

  4. I’m so glad I found your blog again, Joy! I’ve been reading on your other blog, Words of Joy, but it looks like this is where you’re writing for #write31days, so I’m glad I found you here again! It looks like my comments haven’t been posting on the other site, please know that I have been reading – and praying for you, dear friend! Your word today is especially encouraging! Blessings on your Sabbath!

    • June, it’s a JOY and delight to see you here, my friend! I’ve had a lot of troublesome technical issues on Words of Joy over the last few months, so this series felt better suited here instead. It’s particularly hard for people to leave a comment there, but I am in the throes of trying to get it fixed. I thought you might have unsubscribed because I had to have such a long blogging break. It’s a relief to hear you’ve still been reading along! Your thoughts and prayers are as cherished as ever. I am trying (and failing) to keep up with my own blog reading while writing more frequently. Hope to stop by your place soon. Have a blessed Sabbath! ❤

  5. Oh Joy, as I was reading I thought of this song. Jesus has been whispering into my heart lately, “Just be held.” Not one of our tears is wasted, and our lives are in His hands. If we can just allow ourselves to sink into His embrace and rest our heads against Him, we will find as you write – “We soon discover joy is wrapped up best in the person of Jesus.” Thank you for this encouragement today. Hugs!

    • Oh Trudy, what perfect timing for God to inspire me to pen these words and add that song with such meaningful lyrics for you! May you heed those words, “sink into His embrace and rest” your head against Him, letting yourself just be held, cradled and comforted. You’ve encouraged me greatly by sharing about the song’s impact on you. Blessings of peace, rest and joy to you, dear friend! xo 💜

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