"Let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, so that those who love Your name may exult in You. For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover them with favor as with a shield" (Psalm 5:11-12).
When I was at the Waffle House bar the other morning, the lady sitting next to me turned to me and asked me what I do for a living. I told her I am in Community Development. I don’t tell anyone I am a pastor in the beginning, as when I do, They will, put out their cigarettes, pour out their beer, change the way they talk, and just act weird! The lady said, "Well, you just seem like a genuinely happy person." I thanked her and smiled and told her that was really nice to hear.
I know, I probably should have invited her to church or led her to Jesus or offered to minister healing and deliverance or something; but honestly, at that moment, I was just thinking about what a great blessing You've given me. I thank You, Lord, because You're the One who gave me that joy. Despite everything I've ever been through, and You know I have been through allot, You've never let my joy be taken from me. I'm genuinely joyful because You've put that joy in me. It's like the Sunday School song says: "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart to stay." I like that other verse too -- "And if the devil doesn't like it, like it, like it, like it, he can sit on a tack today!" --or something like that.
Even when I was a general contractor, I loved to joke and laugh." I've still got my old jokes and I've still got my laugh! But Your joy has always been my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). And Your joy has always been at the heart of my experience of You and the growing fulfillment of Your kingdom in my life. "For the kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).
You've allowed me to see one of the great purposes of Your words of Spirit and life are "so that (Your) joy may be in (me), and that (my) joy may be complete" as I learn to obey You and abide in You (John 15:10-11). And even though on our daily, spiritual journey through this broken and fallen world "(we) have pain now ... (but at the same time, our) hearts will rejoice, and no one will take (our) joy from (us)" as we live out our days in the conscious awareness of Your Presence (John 16:22-24). "You show me the path of life. In Your Presence there is fullness of joy; in Your right hand are pleasures forevermore!" (Psalm 16:11)
You're the God who makes us genuinely joyful! You take all our sins, what can be more Joyous than that? You remove our sorrows to give us freedom and joy to display Your glory through our lives. "(You) give (us) beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that (we) may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified!" (Isaiah 61:3 NKJV) In You, You fulfill in us the promise of Your Word: "The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away!" (Isaiah 35:10) Thank You, Jesus! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My family, I pray this Monday, you begin your weekday genuinely joyful, that the joy of the Lord may be your strength, and that no one can take your joy from you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!
Please share your reflections on joy in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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