Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

The Back Door to Joy

January 13, 2019

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!” Isaiah 55:1

How can you cultivate joy in God? It begins with a deep thirst: “Come, everyone who thirsts” (55:1). Having discovered a deep thirst in their own souls, they feel they are bankrupt “no money!” They realize they don’t have what it takes to get what they need.

You can’t ask God to restore your soul until you know that your soul needs restoring. That’s why the barren woman, the deserted wife, and the folks in the ruined city discover this joy. The woman with children, the happily married couple, and the successful businessman in the city often do not seek it. Their lives are so full that they never ask: What are children for? What is marriage for? What is the city for? Is there a higher purpose, a greater joy?

The default mode of the human heart is to seek joy in our children, in our marriages, and in our money. The Bible has a name for this: it is called idolatry. And idolatry always fails.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:3–6).

When you know your soul needs restoring, you will ask God to restore your soul. This is why sorrow is often the back door to joy.

Have you discovered a deep thirst in your soul for greater joy in Christ?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

Explore this topic further

Cultivating Boldness in Prayer

Let us…draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (ASV) When God has given a clear promise that is for all people, you can pray with great assurance. The Bible is...

Read Post

Cultivating Humility in Prayer

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, do you not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while...

Read Post

When Faith Prays with Submission

“Abba, Father,” he [Jesus] said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 (NIV) The greatest example of praying with faith in all of Scripture is in the Garden of Gethsemane when our Lord said these words....

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

For All Who Grieve

A new book from Pastor Colin Smith

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.