You make me JOYFUL! You make me JOYFUL! Woohoo Woohoo! My three year old sung a song he heard at church all day long yesterday. But the way I sang it in my head was a little different.
You make me joyful.
That was ringing in my heart this morning as I thought of all of you who are not so joyful in this season of joy. Wondering what is weighing you down. Pondering what pain or uncertainty seems to be blocking out your joy. I’ve been there at Christmastime. I’ve been in that place where you are going to lose it if you hear one more person say “choose joy.”
Here’s what I’ve found.
The only thing that has brought my joy back from the dead is burying my face in scripture and borrowing someone else’s faith and praise for a bit. Letting the truth of God’s unwavering grasp of love hold on to me when I cannot hold on to anything.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul” Psalm 103:1
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV
“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all our sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us…
22Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.”
Sometimes all we can do when our joy is quiet is to remind our soul of truth. We tell tour inmost being to praise the Lord remembering His love and faithfulness when everything around us is upside down. And slowly but surely our joy returns to us like the first rays of sunlight in the morning, then like a flood of light, as our soul finds joy in the one and only.
And slowly but surely our joy returns to us like the first rays of sunlight in the morning, then like a flood of light, as our soul finds joy in the one and only.
And we will say, You make me joyful, Lord.
The greatest part of finding that joy in the Lord and being lifted out of the pit is that we get to look around us and lift up those in our path who are still in it. We get to loan our faith and joy to everyone around us. We get to be a part of bringing their joy back as we step into the brokenness of others.
God I pray that you would be our joy this season as we are reminded of your everlasting goodness and love. I pray that you would lift us out of the pit and rescue our hearts from the weight of this life. And I pray that you would then give us many opportunities to love and uplift disheartened people in our neighborhoods and cities. Be our guide to love others well. You are our joy and our everything. Amen.