Thursday, March 31, 2011
Find Your Joy
I remember the song from Children’s Church, ”The Joy of the Lord is My Strength,” and the verse of laughter when they sing, “Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha,” and so on. What a blessing, hearing the pure unadulterated joy and laughter coming from those precious children as they rejoice in the Lord. Yes, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10, NLT).
But do we as adults share the joy? How long has it been since we’ve recognized His joy in our own lives, and how does that joy manifest itself?
I remember the story in the Bible when King David was returning the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The joy that King David felt as he ushered in the presence of the Lord was almost more than he could contain.
“And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns” (2 Samuel 6:14-15, NLT).
It goes on to say that King David leaped and danced before the Lord. In those days, the presence of the Lord, the God of the universe, rested upon that one spot, the Ark of the Covenant. Today, that same presence of the Lord rests within us. Oh the joy that comes when we recognize this fact.
I’ve personally seen this joy manifested when a person humbly asks Jesus to forgive their sins, and come into their heart. I have seen people shout for joy upon receiving their salvation, and praise God upon coming out of the water after baptism.
“Then I will rejoice in the LORD. I will be glad because he rescues me” (Psalm 35:9, NLT).
I remember as a boy of seventeen, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the joy that He brought into my life. I spoke in tongues and laughed the rest of the night!
Some churches have exuberant praise and worship services where people sing, clap, dance, laugh, and release themselves to rejoice in their Lord’s presence, regardless of what onlookers might think. The Lord loves to see their joy and love for Him displayed in such a manner. But He also enjoys the person whose joy is so deep and personal, that it’s expressed by sitting quietly as they bask in their joy, which resides deep within.
Sometimes the cares of life will weigh us down, and it would appear that joy is nowhere to be found. And yes, there is a time for grief and sorrow. Even the Lord Jesus experienced it as He wept over Jerusalem. But when the day is done, the house is quiet, and you relax in the comfort of your dimly lit room, turn your thoughts away from the cares of the day and toward your Lord who lives within you.
Realize that the very presence of God, before whom King David danced, is with you and has shared this day with you. Rejoice, for you possess the Lord, and He possesses you. The communication and fellowship that you have with the Lord is your secret treasure. No one can understand or share in the intimacy that is yours and His alone. The sacredness of this treasure, the presence of God in and with you, is your source of joy and strength. This is not joy as the world knows it, but it’s the kind of joy that comes only from God through the Holy Spirit, “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8 NLT).
Don’t let anyone steal your joy. Jesus said,
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow” (John 15:11, NLT)!
It is His will that you live and breathe in the overflow of joy that comes from Him. Acknowledge and encourage His presence to be with you in word and in Spirit so that joy, His joy in you, becomes a lifestyle. The Apostle Paul wrote,
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, NLT).
Allow the fruit of joy to grow and manifest itself in your life. Your joy in the Lord is your great source of strength, and no bad report, circumstance, or person can take it away from you!
“So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure” (Psalm 32:11, NLT)!