If joy is leaking out of your life faster than you can pour it in. If your job has become a challenge, if your friendships are falling apart, if your stress is going up and your peace is spinning down, I have good news. No, great news.
You can ask God for joy.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:4
We’re talking armloads, boatloads, truckloads of joy. It may not come gift wrapped or rolled in sugar, but that kind of joy doesn’t last very long.
What we really want and desperately need is joy that can’t be taken away.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,… Psalm 86:4
No question, God is more than able to “gladden the soul” (ESV) and fill a “servant’s heart with joy” (CJB). When you bring Him your request—“Make my heart glad!” (CEV)—the Lord’s response is swift and sure.
So, is that it? Just ask and get “a happy life” (MSG)?
You know better. I do too.
One small word bridges the promise of what God will surely do with the step of obedience He asks us to do.
…for… Psalm 86:4
This is “why” (WYC) He is willing to do this, and the reason we can ask for joy: “because” (CEB) we have given our lives completely to Him.
…I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:4
In Hebrew nephesh nasah literally means “soul” and “lift up.” A living thing paired with a doing thing.
Imagine standing in your kitchen, at your desk, in your garden, slowly lifting your cupped hands toward heaven. To anyone watching, your hands look empty. But God knows they contain something precious and rare.
Your soul. Your self.
All the things that make you you,
offered to the One who is all things.
Along with our open hands, we open our hearts and mouths and make a confession of faith (perhaps aloud, if you’re in a place where you can).
- “I turn to You, Lord” (HCSB)
- “I offer my life to you” (CEB)
- “I set my hope on you” (ISV)
- “I worship only you” (TLB)
- “I put my life in your hands” (ERV)
When we mean what we say, our soul no longer belongs to us. It belongs to God. A change of ownership, passed from our hands to His hands.
You may be thinking, “Oh, Liz. Nothing really happens. Nothing I can see or taste or touch or see or hear. They’re only words.”
The whole of the Bible is made up of only words, yet look at all the lives those words have changed!
Faith is believing without seeing. Faith requires trust, not tangible proof.
When you lift up your soul to Him, when you let go, when you trust God, you will have joy. The joy of not worrying, not panicking, not fretting, not obsessing. The joy of knowing your Lord and Savior. The joy of resting in His plans for you.
This isn’t holiday joy He’s handing out—not a stocking stuffed with presents or a plate of your favorite cookies. This joy goes deeper and wider. This joy is a promise fulfilled. This joy declares, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
This joy? It’s His gift of love to you. Every season of the year.
Now, a gift for you from Lizzie. Kindly post a comment below, sharing something God has revealed to you in this week’s study. On Tuesday, November 24 at 9:00pm EST, I’ll again choose one name at random to win three autographed books: A Wreath of Snow, The Women of Christmas, and my new Parable Treasury for children. (Since these hardcover books are quite heavy, we can only ship to U.S. addresses. Thanks so much for understanding.)
Can’t wait to read your words this week!
Your grateful sister, Liz