Is the joy of the Lord your strength? – 5

Dolly Lee Joy Series, Songs 0 Comments

Based on your comments on “Two ways to be present to joy,” I wrote this post.

Joy isn’t only for weddings, friends laughing and babies smiling.

Joy is also for when your heart feels so heavy it may capsize or when you’re living minute-by-minute and life feels tenuous.

Joy is also for when your laptop crashes before a deadline or you’re the new kid or you get spaghetti sauce on your white blouse.

God wants us to experience His joy (Gal. 5:22; John 15:1-11) regardless of circumstances.

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

Kay Warren in her book Choose Joy wrote:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life,

the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right,

and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”

 

Challenging.
 
Did Kay write from an ivory tower of easy circumstances? No.

Kay fought for joy as she battled two types of cancer (breast and skin), her natural “Eeyore” bent, difficulties early in her marriage, a loved one’s mental illness, and emotional wounds from being molested as a little girl.

She grieved and felt sad and angry. She sought professional help.

Healing was a process, she chose to engage in over time.

She chose trust in God’s promises (Romans 8:28-30) and she didn’t run away from the pain.

Trusting God in the midst of sorrow can be a path to joy.

The joy of the Lord can be our strength in sorrow.

Oak Tree

Photo by Flickr CC User: Marilyn Peddle

“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy.” – Jim Rohn

Similarly, Ali and Gareth of the band Rend Collective chose joy during loss and grief and discovered God’s joy was their strength.

Listen to their story of how they chose trust in God over despair here. 

Hear Rend Collective’s songJoy of the Lord” here.

 

The joy of the Lord is our strength because God’s faithful Presence is the source of our joy.

Kay never found true joy in people, possessions or position though she tried. (She gave thanks for these gifts but they didn’t bring lasting joy.)

Instead Kay found God to be the source of true biblical joy.

Prayer:

Dear God,

We praise you for how your joy is our strength in sorrow and loss as well as life’s daily stresses.

We praise you for your faithful presence when we weep and grieve.

Thank you for wanting us to experience joy. We’re grateful we don’t need to deny or hide our feelings.

Thank you for how Kay Warren, Ali and Gareth discovered your joy in the midst of their pain.

Please empower us by Your Spirit to choose trust in you and joy instead of cynicism and despair (Gal. 5:22; John 15:1-11).

Help us to remember and believe your good promises to redeem and restore.

In your Son’s name, Amen.

What lyrics from the song, “Joy of the Lord” resonated with you?

What helps you to practice the joy of the Lord as your strength? Scripture? A song? A certain practice?

Thanks for being here.

This is the 5th post in our Joy Series.

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Linking with encouraging friends: Lyli of #Thought-Provoking Thursdays and Kelly B. of #RaRaLinkup and Jennifer of #TellHisStory

Also linking with Anita of #InspiredMondays</>

And also linking with wise Holley