Finding Lasting Joy in Imperfect Circumstances

Christy Duff Word for Women
Christy Duff Word for Women

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Finding Lasting Joy in Imperfect Circumstances

Devotional by Christy Duff

Christy DuffChristy Duff is a speaker, women’s ministry leader, author, pastor’s wife, and mom to three teenagers. She has been in the ministry for over 20 years, is passionate about Jesus, and loves to encourage women all around the world to immerse themselves fully in their relationship with Him. Christy resides in Indio, CA, where her husband, Jason, is the senior pastor of The Garden Fellowship, a Calvary Chapel. Her new devotional book, Magnify: A Thirty Day Practice of Bending Down to Look Up, will be available on Amazon the beginning of August.

What makes you truly over-the-top happy? Maybe vacations? Family time? Shopping? Spa days? Theme parks? Hanging out with friends? Feeling healthy? As you know, the problem with the things that make us happy in this world is that they all eventually come to an end. Most of this life’s happiness is circumstantial. Why do we say things like, “Oh I wish it could always be this way?” Because we know that eventually things will change. Every happy moment in this world has a speck of angst within it because our hearts know that life will just keep marching on. Lasting joy is found in the True Joy-Giver alone.

While happiness is found in the perfect circumstances, true joy is found in being in the Presence of the Perfect One. Life’s good times slowly drift away, but the glorious Presence of God is available to us in a deeper way at every waking moment. Each day the avenues of prayer, praise, and God’s Word are open for us, enabling us to run to into His Presence. No longer are we captives pursuing the temporary happiness of this life and bound up in the passing pleasures of this world alone. The fullness of God’s lasting joy found in His ever-present Presence is ours for the asking, every second of the day!

"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Christy Duff's book, MagnifyJoy isn’t positive thinking, but it is a choice to think ourselves right into His Presence. Do you remember in the Gospels when Peter walked on water with Jesus, and then began to sink as he focused on the wind and the waves? So, too, we will sink as we look at the storms of this life and dwell on its many waves, wobbles, floods, and frowns. But if we will just choose instead to lift our gaze above life’s storms and lift our eyes right into the pure Presence of God, what joy would flood our hearts! Eyes up, precious one! Eyes off of this world and onto His glorious face! Eyes off of this world and up instead to the King of Glory who bends His ears to hear our prayers! Eyes up onto the One who moved heaven and earth to obtain our souls! Eyes up onto your heavenly destiny and upon the glorious God who loves you so much!

I know this life is often wrought with problems, chaos, hard times, and difficulties. I know that sometimes we feel pain, despair, loneliness, and fear. But in those moments, would we remember that true joy comes when we intentionally acknowledge that this life is but a breath? In this world we will face tribulations—that was a promise from Jesus.

But good cheer comes from remembering that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us where we will be with Him for all of eternity. Joy doesn’t come when we cling to this temporary life with a fervent desire to make it permanent. God’s true joy, available to us at all times, comes when we choose instead to lift our eyes up to our permanent heavenly home. A reward is promised to us. A guaranteed inheritance awaits us. And this hope of a home where every tear is wiped away and the glory of God lights our day is the sure fulfillment for every child of God who has called upon His name for salvation.

Remembering that the Presence of God is available to us in this life and that the Presence of God in its fullness awaits us in the next is what causes us to remain joyful in this life. A heavenly perspective remembers that aside from the fact that most of the things we worry about will never come to pass, the reality is that even what we do actually experience will seem insignificant in the future as we look back.

I know that we often face serious things in life that can cause much fear, angst, anxiety, and worry. But in those times, joy comes by choosing to dwell on the truth that we serve an awesome, powerful, and mighty God who promises to work all things together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). While there is worry in this life, there is also joy found in taking this good God at His Word and choosing to praise in the fullness of His Presence where joy is found.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

So today, would we fix our eyes on those things above where God is? Would we find joy in the midst of pain, fear, worry, and sorrow by choosing to enter into the glory of God’s Presence where the fullness of joy and pleasure are found? Maybe take some extra time today to list even more things that you’re grateful for. Or find joy by singing a song of praise to the One who has been so good and has promised to be nothing but faithful to you in the future. You are not meant to dwell here forever. You are a sojourner on a journey to your permanent home where glory awaits. So, eyes up today, precious one, and may joy be found in your hearts as you press into His Presence with every choice you make!


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

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