But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!”Psalm 40:16 (NLT)
In the decade God has blessed me with ministry I’ve probably preached around 300-400 sermons. As I look back on my list of titles, there were a couple that jumped out at me and brought a smile to my face. The reason? Those couple of sermons were based on one word. Let me clarify, it was one word that jumped off the pages of Scripture at me (Not literally. That would be weird). It was that one word that inspired the writing of the sermon. It was that one word that hinged the entire talk. Of course, you’re probably thinking that the word was “Jesus,” or “God,” or something super-spiritual. Nope. Not that those aren’t important words. However, these words were rather mild. They were words like “His,” or “therefore.”
So, how can a theological talk hinge on an every day word? Here, I’ll show you. As our verse today states, “But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you.” Can you guess the word that jumped out at me? It’s not a bold word. In fact, it’s a word that we use on a very regular basis, and I’ve already used several times in this devo. The word? It’s “in.”
Why is this word so important to our understanding? Because, even if we call ourselves Christian, if we are finding the source of our joy and gladness other than in Jesus, then our source is incorrect. Now, let me clarify. I get joy and gladness in my family and friends. That’s not wrong. However, I identify that God blessed me with this family and with my friends. The source of joy is still in Him.
In addition, if we are searching for Him, but we are hoping that our source of joy will come when He removes our addictions and shame, we’re approaching this wrong. Yes, He can, and does do those things. Yet, we pursue Jesus because He is worth pursuing, not because of what He can give us. He’s not a genie. This is why the verse says “those who search for you [Jesus],” not “those that search for what you [Jesus] can give me.” Our joy and gladness are in our relationship with Jesus, our God.
Today, and every day, find the joy in Jesus. Find gladness in who He is. When your source for these things is eternal, as God is, then they will never fade away.
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