You will make known to me the way of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. – Psalm 16:11 NASB

What is the meaning of Psalm 16:11?

The world tells us that we can create our own joy and happiness. Successful careers, a happy marriage and family, a home in the suburbs, fancy cars, and the latest iPhone. All this adds up to make the ideal recipe for a happy and joy-filled life, right?

…wrong!

The problem with this idea is that life is full of circumstances that are completely out of our control. What happens when the life we built crumbles?

True joy transcends the right choices we make and the circumstances we encounter. Joy, in all its fullness, can only be found in that which remains constant and unchanging. 

Psalm 16:11 means that joy comes from the very presence of God.

What the Bible Says About Fullness of Joy in His Presence

The Bible is full of verses about the presence of God and all the blessings we find there. 

Scriptures About Being In His Presence

Here are just a few bible verses about the fullness of joy we can find by being in His presence.

In the Presence of God There is Liberty from Sin

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Corinthians 3:17

When we place faith in Jesus we are set free from the penalty of our sins – death. One day we will also be free from the presence of sin in and around us.

In the Presence of God There is Peace in the Chaos

The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need. He lets me lie down in green pastures;

 He leads me beside quiet waters. – Psalm 23:1-2

As we remain close to our Good Shepherd, He leads us along paths of righteousness and goodness. Although life may seem chaotic at times, we need not fear because the Lord is there to protect and keep us.

In the Presence of God There is Strength for the Battle

This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; take your position, stand and watch the salvation of the Lord in your behalf, Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow, go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15-18

Jehovah Sabaoth is the name of God that means Lord of hosts. We have the host of heaven’s armies ready to go to battle on our behalf. 

In the Presence of God There is Rest for the Weary

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

As we stay close to Him we can lean on His strength to carry us through difficult times and seasons. 

In the Presence of God There is Life in Abundance

I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

Jesus came to give us life in abundance. He has given us His presence in the person of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this life begins now. It’s not just what we will experience when we get to heaven. Jesus came to give us an abundant life that begins when we place our trust in Him.

Printable Bible Study on Philippians

What Does it Mean to Be Full of Joy?

Fullness of joy means continuing in a state of constant communion with our heavenly Father. It’s choosing to remain in an awareness of His abiding presence within us. 

The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. – John 7:38

We Have Fullness of Joy When We Abide In His Word

“man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3)

God’s Word is that which gives life and sustenance to our spirits. 

We must be feeding on it, allowing it to refresh and transform our minds. Meditating on His truth is what sets us free from all worry, anxiety, and fear and ushers us into the fullness of joy.

It seems as though that it’s during times of stress and busyness that we find it easier to make excuses to neglect our quiet time with God. However, these are the moments when we need to be pressing into His truth with more desperation and consistency.

When we fall out of the Word our minds fall too – fall out of the eternal and into the temporal. Our thoughts become stuck in the muck of our current circumstances.

It is God’s Word that lifts and establishes your mind in the heavenly places. It is your sword, your battle weapon against those enemies who attempt to consume your thoughts and steal your joy. 

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We Have Fullness of Joy When We Capture our Thoughts

I think a lot of the time we view life as venturing through a season of blessing or a season of trial. While this may have some truth, I believe that all seasons bring their share of both.

A pastor of mine once said that life is like the two rails to a train track. One rail represents blessing, the other represents trials. As we move along the tracks of this life, we will always travel forward with blessings. However, with the blessings, there will also be trials.

Joy is always accessible to us as believers – despite circumstances. We remain in a state of joy by choosing to fix our minds on the things above. We can set our minds on the earthly trials or on our eternal blessings.

One of my favorite places to turn is Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. This letter is full of encouragement and inspiration to set our minds heavenward.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. ~ Philippians 4:4,6-8

We Have Fullness of Joy When We Focus on Our Eternal Inheritance

Like I said above, our level of joy is based on our thoughts and attitudes. We remain in joy as we look ahead to our eternal inheritance. God tells us that we have been sealed by the Spirit, for an inheritance that will never spoil or fade. This inheritance is reserved in heaven for us!. We must fix our hope on this hope!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18

set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:13

let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

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