The more I read about joy, the more I’m convinced that God’s kids, more than anyone else on earth, ought to be living demonstrations of this characteristic. Anyone can be joyful when life’s honky-dory, but it’s not so easy when the basement floods, the kids break out in chicken pox, the car breaks down, and income runs out before the month ends.
Our family shares a joke about a van we owned years ago. It was a lemon. Extra sour. The head gasket blew between Christmas and January 1st two years in a row. It burned through three engines during its tenure as a member of our family. And once, on a trip through the Rockies in December, we discovered that the heater didn’t work. Picture this: Gene driving with our four-year-old son sitting beside him, wrapped in a blanket. Our two wee daughters sitting in the middle seat bundled with sleeping bags. And me—shivering in the back seat while scraping ice off the windows.
I’m sorry to say I allowed that van to dictate my attitude ‘way too many times. Like I said, joy comes easy when life’s easy. But it’s not so quick to show up when life presents challenges.
I read Psalm 5:11,12 recently: “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord: you surround them with your shield of love” (Psalm 5:11,12).
Several important truths about joy come to mind as I ponder these words:
- Knowing that God is our refuge is reason for joy whether our circumstances feel good or not.
- We’re to sing joyful praises forever. Doing so is non-optional for God’s kids. He knows that joyful praises breed life in us and in those who hear us speak. Let’s do what He says—He knows best.
- We’re to sing joyful praises forever. That means always, not only until the good times end.
- God spreads His protection over those who love Him. That knowledge should result in our being filled with joy rather than fear, insecurity, or worry.
- The knowledge that God surrounds us with His shield of love is pretty good cause for joy, too, don’t you think?
Joy ought to be a hallmark of those who follow God. How are you doing in that department? Do you have a favorite Scripture that speaks about joy? If so, what is it?
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