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Finding 'Fullness of Joy' on the Mountain of Life

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Ps. 16:11, ESV)

I’ll be honest. The idea of “fullness of joy” sounds a little bit far-fetched to me. It invites a picture of abundance, an endlessly flowing fountain of goodness. But here’s the rub: joy has never felt like a fountain to me. All things considered, I think that joy in this life is much more like a mountain.

See, we are all climbing the mountain of life. And every step that we take on this journey affords us an opportunity to choose joy, but that joy rarely flows easily. It’s an uphill climb that often requires a lot of effort. It’s a daily choice, an ongoing struggle, and an active surrender.

But it is always worth it. Romans 5:3-4 suggests that when choose to pursue joy in the midst of suffering, we grow in three critical ways as a result: we increase our endurance, we mature in character, and we develop hope.


Endurance gives us the guts and grit to push through the journey when life gets particularly difficult. It’s a combination of courage and perseverance, working in us to propel us up the mountain against all odds.


Character develops as we follow our great mountain Guide, the Holy Spirit, and make use of his gear to navigate the challenges of this demanding ascent. It empowers us to make wise decisions on the mountain that honor God and others.


And hope? Well, hope is both the beginning and the end of this journey. Hope is what enables us to see our goal, the crown of life, and to “press on toward the… prize for which God has called [us] heavenward” (Phil. 3:14, NIV). Hope is found within the mysterious promise of our guaranteed victory over the dark secrets of the mountain. And hope climaxes in the assurance of the everlasting joy we’ll experience one day in glory. Even though it may feel like a climb right now, we know that joy will be effortless in eternity.

fullness of joy

And when I think of it this way, “fullness of joy” doesn’t seem quite so out of reach. It may not feel anything like a fountain. It might still feel daily like an uphill battle on the gruelling mountain of life. But all the same, it is full, and rich, and beautiful because of the power of God at work in my life to develop endurance, character, and hope through my obedience to choose joy in times of suffering.

Could you use a bit of extra endurance, character, or hope today? Then it’s time to stop forging your own path, friend.

It’s time to reach new heights on the mountain of life.

It’s time to come into the presence of God and claim the “fullness of joy” that he has on offer for all of us—the kind of joy that combines itself with suffering to produce in us the very qualities we need to propel us up the mountain with a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

It’s time to embrace joy like a mountain.

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