The Power of Joy

the joy of the lord is your strenght

The Power of Joy

In just two short weeks, our son will be a married man and our family will be blessed with a new daughter. We couldn’t be more excited – peaceful confidence covers our hearts as we see God’s sovereign hand confirming time and again that these two have been chosen for each other.

So it wasn’t the upcoming marriage that had me feeling stressed as we ran errands finishing our last minute wedding preparations, it was all that had to happen in the remaining two short weeks that was rapidly sucking the joy out of my heart. Among an assortment of deeper issues, there was a talk to be prepared, a book proposal to be completed, a women’s event to finish planning, many emails to be sent and dresses and shoes to be purchased (yes – two weeks before the wedding and one of my daughters still needed to shop).

But thankfully the Lord went before me and a JOY RESCUE was on the way! In the front yard of the florist’s house was a quaint little bridge leading the way over a fast-flowing creek. There was even a comfy chair positioned in the middle of the bridge inviting me to settle in and soak in some of my favorite things – the warmth of sunshine, the cool breeze, and the sound of rushing water nearby.

I closed my eyes and opened my heart to God’s presence. “Lord, I don’t want to miss out on any of the joy you have for me. Today is a precious gift – I want to embrace every part of it. I know you will provide everything we need. You are right here. You’re so big – You’ve got this!”

And there it was – JOY – supernatural, infilling, overflowing, ever-present, holy joy. I love that God tells us to rejoice always but he never calls us to manufacture joy in our own strength; we simply open our hearts to the One who is Joy! I’m reminded of Jesus – filled with joy through the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21) and that the God of all hope fills us with joy and peace as we trust Him (Romans 15:13) and that we can Rejoice, because the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

In his book, Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge paints a powerful picture of the true personality of Jesus – playful, holy, fiercely intentional – but the thought that is impacting my heart today is that our Savior and Lord truly and deeply enjoys and treasures His people. We are never an interruption! In fact as hard as it is to comprehend – we are His joy and His absolute delight! “How could the joy of the Lord be our strength if the Lord is seldom joyful?”

Jesus rescued my heart with His joy and then to top it all off – the day continued to unfold with many God-orchestrated blessings – family fun, decisions made, dresses purchased, and then the added joy of sharing lunch with some close friends.

“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 alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” (Kay Warren, Choose Joy)

May we refuse to allow our responsibilities to steal our joy and may the settled assurance of our Lord’s tender, loving care fill our hearts with His never-ending, overflowing joy.