I've been trying to think about this subject of “joy” for a few weeks now and felt like “I got nothin'!”. I'm pretty sure that one of the ideas behind this communal blog is for each contributor to be inspired by the offerings of another and, fortunately this week, James' post found itself a part of a stream of nudges from God; in my own present search for peace, hope and a dose of renewed faith, his words encouraged me that these are attainable in those moments when you feel that they are not. In those moments, I am not even thinking about pursuing joy, but, as I reflect on God's promises, I see how silly it is to NOT invite joy along. God's presence IS our joy; our strength IS the joy of the Lord; His joy is complete in us.
You know those times when you know truths like these in your head, but you're not sure how capable you are of taking them to heart in the present moment? Thank God for grace that still speaks through with these nudges through the words of others, or through song lyrics happened upon on the radio. Then you at least get to a place where you have enough “something” to get yourself to speak the truths out: God, you are trustworthy and I believe it. And to a place where you can pray beside others: God, you are faithful. I believe you are faithful. We believe you are faithful. You will guide, you will provide just like every time before. My faith is small right now, but you are the same.
Once a month I have the privilege of leading worship at my church and this Sunday, as another attempt of speaking out His promises in faith, I chose to do this little ditty, “The Joy of the Lord”.
When I am weak, He is strong and I can lean on Him.No need to fear, I will have faith and I will shout for joy.And when I stumble, He picks me up and I'm gonna jump for joy.The Joy of the Lord is my strength.
Interesting that this song was taught to me years ago by Chris; hence, another roundabout way of being inspired and encouraged by someone connected to this blog.
Someone recorded the song with an iPod, so here's a humble offering of poor video and sound quality, but an invitation to Joy nonetheless.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)