"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered."  Psalm 71:23 NIV

It is kind of amazing how often the words joy and praise are found in the same verse.  I wonder if it is the joy which leads to praise or if the praise brings joy?  I suspect that sometimes it works one way ...and others the reverse.  There have been days that I have not felt joyful until I gave Him praise and then it flooded my heart until I thought I might burst.

Music has always been a powerful force in my life.   I remember even as a child that a song could move me to tears when I would be able to stiffen myself against the feelings when the words were spoken.  I have to wonder why that is?  But, it is just one of those things to remind us to be careful what we allow ourselves to listen to as it seems to carry its message deeply inside of us.

Joy.  Sometimes it feels like an overwhelmingly happy feeling.  Our eyes dance.  

"The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes."  Psalm 19:8 NIV

The stupid grin on our face says it all.  

"Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2 NIV

However, sometimes joy is more subtle.  Sometimes it is so deep and satisfying that it looks more like contentment during hard times.  

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:19 NIV

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7 NIV

True joy comes from a knowledge of the Lord.  Knowing that He is our all in all.  Understanding that without Him we would not be here, we would have nothing and we would have no hope.  

"Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God."  Psalm 43:3-5 NIV

My instrument of choice is the piano.  I go to the piano, open a hymnal and just play in praise.  But I think of King David with his harp.  I think of him as a young boy in the fields with his lyre. Those dark nights as he watched over the sheep and plucked the strings in song.  So often his songs were joy filled, I am sure, as he observed the stars in the sky and as he learned the things of God.  This verse says that God is the joy.  If this is true in our lives then there is nothing better.  That means that our joy is not dependent on our happiness.  It is bigger, it is better, it is constant.

I think this is one of the things that the world notices about Believers.  They see the underlying joy.  That inner bubble that cannot be taken away.  Since it is of Him, for Him, through Him and to Him.  It is an infusion.  

Anyone can be happy from time to time.  However, I am not convinced that anyone can be truly joyful even when things are hard.  It takes that extra knowledge and trust for joy to be present in those moments.

But as I did my brief study on Joy for this post it was overwhelmingly obvious that most times joy is loud, joy is shouted out, joy is fun.  For these reasons I really love joy.  It is contagious.  So...pass it on!  Share the joy of the Lord as you go about your week.  Be intentional.  Reread scripture verses that remind us of our reason to have JOY in our hearts.  
For the JOY of the LORD is our STRENGTH!  Be strong as you walk with Him and in Him.

Becky - Good Neighbors Candle Co.

Comments (5)

On January 20, 2014 at 7:58 AM , Lorrie Esposito said...

Thank you Becky :-) Yes, I love that the joy of the Lord is our strength especially when we feel we are in the midst of turmoil. I needed to remember where my true joy is grounded.

On January 20, 2014 at 8:37 AM , KarenW said...

Meditating on joy is a great way to start the week! We might not find joy in our circumstances but we can in God.

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11

On January 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM , ifrog crafter said...

What an awesome devotion!!! Thank you so much! It is so good to have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart! =) I often bread into song after saying "Thank You Lord". Or just because.

On January 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM , Joyce Butler said...

Well put. Thank you for reminding us that we are a people of joy if we let it happen.

On January 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM , bananaorangeapple said...

Thank you