In God’s presence, there is fullness of joy. I reread those words and my heart did a little happy dance. As I pursue gratitude in my life everyday and in every situation, I am beginning to learn that joy is an important part of this pursuit. After all, as I mentioned previously the greek word for “give thanks” is eucharisteo, and chara, which means joy, is the root. 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 there are pleasures forever.” So, in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, there is fullness of gratitude producing joy. When I researched what the hebrew word used for “fullness of” was, I found that it is the word soba, which means “satiety, abundance, fullness”. Abundance means “fullness to overflowing”, and satiety means, “the feeling or state of being satisfied to the full”. So in God’s presence is a joy that is deeply satisfying, and that fills to the point of overflow. That is the kind of joy I’m looking for.
I keep my little gold notebook on my desk all day at work. My pen holds the place, so that when a blessing pops in my head, I can quickly jot it down. I’m beginning to see that the more I count my blessings, the more joy I feel. And friends, this is no ordinary joy. This is the full kind of joy. The kind that satisfies. The kind that is slowly healing the deep hurts of my heart. The kind that is renewing my mind, and increasing my love for the people in my life.
The best way I can describe it, is that it’s like buying your first pair of glasses and being able to see clearly for the first time. I recently acquired my very first pair of spectacles. Up until this point I’ve been glasses free, but since I married a man who 1. is practically blind, he’s so near sighted and 2. has worked in eye care for the past year and a half, he eventually convinced me to go to get my eyes checked. The diagnosis was that I am nearsighted, and that it was time to bite the bullet and buy glasses. So when they finally arrived and I put them on my face, and looked around, I was in awe over how clear and bright everything looked. I was like a little kid, everything looked so new. It wasn’t that I couldn’t see before, I just wasn’t seeing as well I could. Things looked more crisp and I realized all this time I had been missing out. That’s how it is when you finally start seeing your life through the lens of gratitude and joy. Suddenly things just seem brighter. It wasn’t that you didn’t see your husband give you that morning kiss before, or that you didn’t enjoy the conversation you had with a friend. But perhaps, before you put on the glasses of gratitude, you just didn’t count them as grace in your life. You didn’t seem them as fullness of joy. But once you put those glasses on, and you see life clearly, and you begin to count, and name your blessing one by one, you’ll never want to take them off. You will be satisfied to the full on a daily basis.
I think that the reason gratitude brings such joy and clarity to our life is because when we are grateful it leads us into the presence of God, and what does Psalm 16:11 say? In His presence is fullness of joy. So, when I’m grateful, I’m in living my everyday moments in His presence, and it’s there that I experience joy. Not just a little bit, but a fullness of joy that is overflowing.
“I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefor my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will you allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
You will make known to me the path of life;
In you presence is fullness of joy;
In your right hand there are pleasures forever.”