The Plight of Pilgrimage

“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds set on a pilgrimage…” (Psalm 84:5 NLT)

Have you ever started something and, for whatever reason, were unable to complete the task due to distractions or disconnects along the way? When I was teaching, I’d head out of my classroom and proceed towards the media center’s copying machine but was interrupted with one colleague’s need to vent frustration, three or four precious student hugs (an elementary setting), and an inner nudge to refill my coffee cup. More often than I’d care to admit, I would arrive to make copies without the original document in my hand. Other times, I’d refill my coffee and head back to my classroom without making any copies. In other words, my mind was not set on the task at hand.

God’s Word proclaims authentic, lasting strength, inner soul strength, comes from the power and presence of Jesus in our lives. Yet, today’s Scripture reference has a condition attached to the promise: Joy that comes with strength provided by our Lord depends on our ability to set our minds (target our focus) on a pilgrimage, a pilgrimage designated and led by Jesus.

It’s in the journey where seeds of relentless joy take root and begin to blossom, in despite of, and sometimes even because of our circumstances. And the key to relentless joy depends upon who is leading the pilgrimage. Scripture proclaims our Lord is the essential ingredient in the formula for possessing lasting joy.

Happiness outside of our Lord is temporary, often creating a craving that never seems to be fully satisfied. Our Creator God designed life to work a specific way. He created us to need Him. And when we focus our minds on a Christ-led pilgrimage while trusting our Lord to provide the strength we need the results will yield relentless joy.

Set your focus on the pilgrimage set before you while relying on the gift of God’s strength and you will not be disappointed. Joy will not only show up at your doorstep but also penetrate your soul in such a way no one or nothing will ever be able to take it from you.

God is relentless and so is His joy.

(Kimberly Ruoff)
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.

Based on Living with a Pilgrim Mentality on January 4th, 2019 - Watch Sermon