Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.
(Deuteronomy 28:47-48 ESV)
I am doing a Bible word search on the topic/word Joy. There is no better way to preach a specific topic to your soul than reading every verse in the Bible on that topic. This morning I came across the above verse and it got me thinking. I am a redeemed child of the King, of course He will not destroy me or cast me off. However, the language in these verses is very strong. And though I’m not concerned I’ll lack everything, I do think these verses should make us think about being joyful.
God charged the Israelites with not serving the Lord with joyfulness and gladness, because of the abundance of things they had. Thinking back on the Old Testament, it wasn’t like the Israelites lives were a walk in the park. Life wasn’t full of ease and wealth and comfort. YET, God still gave them an abundance of things. There was still much in their lives to be joyful and glad about. I would venture to say they were being judged because of their ingratitude and whining. They weren’t grateful for all they had and went looking to other gods for their desires.
And while I am not bowing down to Baal, I sure do have my own little idols. And without a doubt I whine about what I do not have and what is not easy. I look at my trials and circumstances and feel discouraged. I see the insurmountable odds, not what God has powerfully done in the past. My eyes are focused on myself & my circumstances. BUT, I have a powerful Creator Who has provided and has promised to always provide what I need. There are countless things I am so grateful for. There is much abundant blessing in my life. Here are a few examples…
- I am a chosen, redeemed, and forgiven child of God!
- I have two amazing and godly parents who care for me amazingly well.
- I have a brother and sister that I consider two of my best friends.
- I live in the wealthiest country on earth and have far more possessions than most people anywhere else on the globe.
- I am a member of a Bible believing, Bible preaching church Who proclaims the Savior and his salvation.
- I live with an amazing family that I love. They have gone out of their way to make me feel apart of their family. I am SO grateful for them!
- I live on 3 acres (no small feat when you live in the suburbs of DC) and I see horses and deer every day. This does this southern country girls heart a world of good.
- I get to play with three adorable dogs every day. They greet me with much fan fare when I come home. Makes not having Chica around almost bearable.
Remind me again why I shouldn’t be joyful and glad every waking moment of my life? Life may still suck at times and it definitely isn’t easy. I’m not going to be walking around with a smile pasted on my face no matter what. But, if my gaze is fixed on God and what He has done and provided for me; I’m pretty sure that joy will be the automatic outcome.