“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!”
Often times, the “Joy of the Lord” can be wrongly thought of as an unhealthy dose of optimism.
"Just whistle a happy tune and all your troubles will melt away!”
Though I think that a good dose of optimism can be a very good thing, it is not the same as having the joy of the Lord. I have chosen to write this series of posts out of a very difficult time in my life because I have found that it is though my greatest trials that the Lord’s joy is able to shine at its brightest. If you have ever read the Psalms, you may have noticed that many of them were written out of David’s most horrible and trying moments. Many chapters tell of great trials and near death experiences and yet, many of them also finish with a declaration of praise and rejoicing.
“I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:29-30 (ESV)
“You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. ….. I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O My God; I will sing praises to you with they lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips with shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.” Psalm 71:20, 22-23 (ESV)
In times of great sorrow and pain, David chose to still sing praises to the Lord and honor Him through his great trial. Did David always feel like praising the Lord during those times? Well, I can’t ask him, nor can I judge his heart, but considering human nature, it would be my guess that many times he made the choice to praise the Lord despite the things that he was going through. And so, we too can chose to praise the Lord because He IS faithful and He is in control. He will work all things out together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28) I am trusting Him to do that very thing. Are you?
Need a reason to smile?
Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
Now that is a good reason to smile. :)