Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 1 Chronicles 16:27
Eight years ago my husband and I bought our first home.
We were ecstatic–our very own home!
The day we finally received the keys was a day of sheer joy and excitement.
We didn’t have much furniture at the time, but we could have slept on the floor that night–we were just happy to have a house to live in–a place to call our own.
Now, years later, our home has endured and weathered many storms.
In our own lives, we have experienced disappointment, loss, betrayal, and deep wounds from the trials of life. We have cried and laughed; mourned and rejoiced. But no matter the difficulties we have faced, our home remains sturdy, firm and secure.
James encouraged the people of God to find joy in the midst of their trials.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…
Can joy and trials truly live together in the same sentence?
The answer is a resounding yes.
We have made the Lord our dwelling place.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Psalm 90:1
Like the keys to our new home, Christ has given us the eternal keys to His love, life, and everlasting joy–and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon!
Here are three powerful secrets to living a joy-filled life that will make the home of your heart strong, firm and secure.
Abide in the love of Christ
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love… I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:9 & 11
The Greek word remain or abide in John 15 means to stay in a place, to dwell, or to be present. When we make the Lord our dwelling place, He becomes our Home. Our Shelter. Our place of protection and spiritual covering. To abide in Christ is to set up permanent residence in the shelter of His love, grace and mercy. When the trials and storms of life come, we are safe within His omnipotent protection–and our joy is made complete.
Dwell in His presence through prayer and feast on His Word
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.Psalm 16:11
Have you ever found joy in merely being in the presence of loved ones? We encounter Christ’s joy when we spend time with Him in prayer and feast on His Word. Our hearts are filled to the brim when we sit alone with Him and contemplate His goodness and rich, bountiful grace. Even in the midst of our trials, we can experience profound joy when we use the Word of God and the power of prayer to recharge, refresh, and rejuvenate our weary souls.
Put on the Garment of Praise
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3
Have you felt the burden of despair weigh on you so heavily that you could barely lift your head? Put on a garment of praise. Have the turbulent trials in your life crushed you like a clad-iron cloak? Lift your hands in adoration to the Lord, and put on a garment of praise. In order to experience the powerful, life-giving oil of joy in our lives, we must put on our garments of praise.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Praise silences the enemy and defeats every pit of despair.” quote=”Praise silences the enemy and defeats every pit of despair.”]
Whenever we sense a spirit of heaviness come over us, let’s choose joy by turning on worship music and lifting our voices in praise to God! The garment of our praise is woven within the tapestry of our tears, prayers, and worship–and our joy is made complete.
If your faith is being tested in the refiner’s fire today, stand steady and firm, like a house that is not easily shaken.
Abide in His love. Dwell in His presence. Praise His holy name.
Choose joy today by remaining inside the warmth of our Savior’s embrace, hidden behind the garments of His abounding grace. Choose to dwell in His love, and you will experience a joy you never dreamed possible.
A joy that is unwavering, perfect, and complete.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
About the Author:
Christin Baker is a wife, homeschool mom, blogger, and passionate lover of Jesus. As a former elementary school teacher and curriculum developer, she worked for years in children’s ministry, and writes children’s articles for a Christian magazine called The Banner. Her desire is to help women discover their true beauty, purpose, and identity through the spiritual clothing of Christ. She writes at garmentsofsplendor.com.