Marie Kondo is the cutest. If you haven’t read her New York Times bestseller on decluttering, maybe you’ve caught her new mini-series on Netflix. She’d have a heyday in my closets and kitchen, but I’m holding fast until summer to do any serious cleaning out.
You can sense from watching Marie that she’s passionate about helping people declutter and reorganize as a way to bring joy. In fact, that’s the key to her Konmari method: find what sparks joy.
And while cleaning out closets and cabinets does feel good, you know what sparks real joy for me? Time in God’s Word.
It’s the single biggest joy boost I know.
I cannot tell you how many times (especially in the last 7 years of being a widow and single mom) I’ve started my morning with a heavy burden or worry or deep missing. But once I get into God’s word, there’s a great exchange that takes place: I give God my burdens and take back his abiding joy and peace.
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It’s a healing joy. It roots out my worry and grief, lifts my head to see the good of life now, and spills over into my mothering and work and ministry.
It’s a steadying joy. While I assumed joy would come after a tidy resolution of my circumstances, God’s word helped bring joy right in the midst of those circumstances.
So let’s see 6 ways God’s word sparks joy.
1.God speaks to us in his word. There is nothing like quieting all the voices around us to open the Bible and hear from God. The word is living and active and God will use it to speak to the circustances of our lives. God can speak very personally and practically through his word. His word helps to guide us, to give wisdom, to discern, to teach, to correct, to warn and to affirm.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
2. God’s word bring us into God’s presence. Scripture has been breathed out by God. In fact, “…to have the Word of God is to have God Himself, for when Scripture speaks, God speaks.” To understand the word and to apply the word, we must have the Spirit working in us. And with God comes the fullness of his peace, his deep love and his joy.
“Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16
3. God’s word reminds us who he is. God reveals himself on every page of the Bible. He reveals his character and how he deals with mankind. We cannot read the Bible without seeing that God is sovereign, that he’s all powerful and that his plans always prevail. Bible study realigns our heart so that we are more overcome with God than overwhelmed by our circumstances.
“God replied to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14
4. God’s word reveals his promises. God’s word is chock full of promises. Getting into God’s word every day not only reminds of his promises but God’s constant faithfulness to those promises. He was faithful to Noah. He was faithful to Joshua. He was faithful to Daniel and faithful to Nehemiah. Our circumstances don’t tell the whole story because God’s promises are at work and will be fulfilled in his perfect timing. We can count on God coming through and we can wait well because we know without a doubt that God can only ever be faithful.
“The entirety of your word is truth, each of your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:16
5. God’s word shows there’s joy even in suffering. Scripture makes clear we aren’t alone in suffering. Almost every single person in the Bible that God used mightily experienced some kind of suffering – there’s not room enough for a list but let’s start with Abraham and Sarah, Rebecca, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Elijah, Esther, Paul and John. Jesus himself suffered and God walks with us in our suffering. Scripture tells us God gives us grace sufficient for our suffering and that there’s purpose in suffering. And finally, scripture assures us that difficulty here is preparing us for an eternity of glory that far surpasses even the hardest suffering.
“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” Psalm 119:92
6. God’s word helps clean out our sinful hearts. Look, there are two ways God can disciple us. The hard way? To go against God, feel the sting of consequences and correction, and decide not to do that again. The easier way? To stay in God’s word and let it continually wash over our hearts so that we’re warned away from rebellion or so that we realize our sin and re-align our hearts to God’s. Daily time in God’s word allows him to constantly clean out sin and ushers in fresh joy.
“I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
What sparks joy for me? Time alone with God in his word.
Not reading a meme that talks about God.
Not reading someone else’s words talking about God.
But reading the word of God for myself.
Every day, God, help us come to your word with ears open, heart ready, spirit willing and the only agenda to meet you there.
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