Finding Joy

Psalm 9:1-2 - Finding Joy: Embracing Life's Journey with David's Heart

Tracee Padilla

5/2/20244 min read

As I was sitting at my desk one morning, contemplating how to begin my day with scripture, prayer, and journaling, my Bible opened to this verse: "I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be FILLED WITH JOY BECAUSE OF YOU. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High." (Psalm 9:1-2 NLT)

It's funny how often we chase after 'joy' and 'happiness' in all the wrong corners of life. We scroll through social media, hoping for a spark of joy, only to find comparison and fleeting satisfaction. Shopping can lift our spirits momentarily, but the high fades as quickly as it comes. Sometimes, we invest in the wrong friendships or set expectations that crumble in the face of reality, leaving our joy hanging by a thread. Ever been there?

True joy, the kind that endures, can only be found through Christ alone.

So, how do we find this lasting joy? David's wisdom points us in the right direction: "I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart."

That's our first step—wholehearted praise and devotion to God.

Praising God is like throwing a celebration, where we express our love, admiration, and applause for everything He is and everything He's done. It's like giving God a standing ovation for His marvelous works and standing in awe of His constant presence in our lives.

WHOLE HEART: When David urges us to love God 'with all your heart,' he's urging us to hold nothing back—giving ourselves entirely in love to God. To truly love God with all your heart, you have to love Him with your whole self. When we're just fragments of broken pieces, it's challenging to offer that kind of love. Fragments don't hold up very well on their own. But when those broken pieces are embraced by God's grace and endless love, they come together to form a beautiful masterpiece of His mercy and salvation. That's what makes us whole — and that's the essence of loving Him with ALL your heart. Give Him the ugly, the difficult, the challenging, the beautiful, and the vulnerable parts of yourself, and let Him work through you with His love to make you whole.

TELL YOUR STORY: After we've thanked the Lord with our whole heart, it leads us to 'tell of His marvelous works.' I see this in two ways: first, we recount to God all the wonderful things He's done in our lives. It's like when a child proudly shows us something they've worked hard on, and our response of praise and appreciation means everything to them. Imagine if we just stared blankly without any expression or words of celebration — it would leave them feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and undervalued. The same goes for God. He showers us with countless blessings, and when we praise Him wholeheartedly, we express our gratitude for EVERYTHING He's done for us, celebrating life together.

ACTION REQUIRED: This celebration isn't just words; it's action. Love is moved by action. When we verbally speak of God's wonders, not just in prayer but also to those around us, it stirs His love toward us and sparks life, love, and action in our lives and to those around us.

WHEN JOY COMES: Then comes the joy—the kind that bubbles up from deep within, filling us to overflowing with God's infectious happiness. Think of it like a surprise party thrown by God Himself, complete with balloons of blessings and confetti of grace. He doesn't just give gifts; He gives them with a radiant smile and a heart exploding with joy because seeing His children walking out in the freedom He called us to live brings Him immeasurable joy. When you really think about it, look at what all He did to make that happen!

Yes, life's journey will have its twists and turns, but when we turn to God in prayer, He lifts us above our fears and surrounds us with His protective embrace. David's constant refrain of praising the Lord at all times echoes the secret to unlocking joy: start by praising God, thanking Him for His wonders, and sharing His goodness with the world you live in. It's a treasure hunt that leads to a chest overflowing with indescribable joy and God's glorious presence, just waiting to be discovered.

Let's jump into this adventure with God! Keep chasing after Him like David did with all your heart, every day. It's in those quiet moments, even in the middle of life's crazy moments, that you find the real, unspeakable joy that makes every step of this journey wrapped in God's amazing love worth it.

That pursuit, my friend, is where you'll find everything your heart desires.

Here's your daily checklist to finding God's joy:

  1. Praise God With All Your Heart: Start your day with true praise and devotion to God, acknowledging His greatness and marveling at His works.

  2. Cultivate Gratitude and Love: Cultivate a heart of gratitude and love for God, embracing your whole self and allowing Him to transform your brokenness into beauty.

  3. Share His Wonders: Share the stories of God's crazy amazing works in your life, celebrating His blessings and spreading joy to those around you.

  4. Experience Joy in His Presence: Allow yourself (make the choice) to be filled with joy by being in the presence of God, recognizing His love and abundant gifts.

  5. Pursue Him Faithfully: Continuously pursue a deeper relationship with God, seeking Him in prayer and quiet moments, where true and enduring joy is found.

Living in God's joy,

Tracee Padilla