In "Surprised By Joy," C.S. Lewis tells of a mistake that he had observed regarding joy or what he calls "thrills." Lewis realized that what he had first thought to be joy, was actually not joy at all because it began to fade away. He had assumed that he was seeking after the "thrill" itself. He says, "And there lies the deadly error. Only when your whole attention and desire are fixed on something else ... does the 'thrill' arise. It is a by-product. Its very existence presupposes that you desire not it but something other and outer."
He realized that when he focused his attention on obtaining the "thrill" of joy, that he was actually focused on himself. True joy is not experienced when one desires joy itself, but when one has his eyes on something else. As believers, the "other and outer" that we have the opportunity to look to is God! God draws us to Himself, our soul responds to Him and in return, He fills our soul with joy.
That is portrayed in the words of the Psalmist who says in Psalm 43:3-4, "O send our Your light and Your truth, Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places. Then I will go the alter of God, To God my exceeding joy; and upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God." God is the one who leads man to joy. It is at the Holy Hill or dwelling place of God that the Psalmist describes God as his exceeding joy. God calls us and leads us in His path; God supplies our joy.
Speaking of this path, Psalm 16:11 says, "You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand are pleasures forever." As God leads the believer down his path, God gives him fullness of joy and pleasures forever. Because of man's fallen nature, he can not earn joy. Instead, God's power is displayed through his sovereign gifts of joy.
As I reflect on this past segment of my path of life, spent here at Flora, I can recall many instances of exceeding joy. I thank God for the many people that he used to draw me closer to himself. Thank you, mom and dad for your faithful example of godliness that has given me the desire to be a woman "of God." Thank you for always directing...