THE JOY OF THE LORD
I have the privilege of meeting regularly with a young man who has an awesome call of God on his life, and such a desire to live for God and serve Him wholeheartedly. Our conversations flow like a river, and I am mutually blessed in all our sharing together. Lat time we met we talked about how important it is to seek to maintain the Joy of the Lord in our lives or quickly see it restored. We know when we fail the Lord we lose our joy, and need to pray like King David in Psalm 51:12 NKJV Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, David had to first REPENT and ask the Lord’s forgiveness for his sins, and then the joy flowed back into his life.
The other area especially where we can lose our joy is when people (and sadly so often Christians) say and do things that can hurt us deeply. I quoted yesterday Rom. 8:28 NKJV And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. So nothing happens by chance in our lives, but comes with the Lord’s permission so that a work of Grace can take place in our lives. The Christian life is a no win situation we have to learn to lay down and die, despite the unjust unrighteous things that are said and done to us. We know that saying for example “That if we harbour unforgiveness in our hearts it is like taking poison and hoping the other person would die”. WE ARE ALWAYS THE LOSER!!
SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO? Here are some keys for you.
Psalm 4:5 NKJV Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. The Message expresses it this way Build your case before God and wait for His verdict. In other words when someone says or does something unrighteous to you, you don’t do as our sinful nature wants us to and lash out, but we make a sacrifice (something that really costs us) and with the Lord’s help we respond in a righteous way, and leave the matter in the Lord’s hands.
Romans 5:5 NKJV The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. When we are born again the love of God flows into our heart and it is up to us to let it keep FLOWING, Isaiah knew this and he says in 12:3 NKJV Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation. By a daily act of our will we must maintain that attitude of repentance (turning around and choosing to the let the joy flow (despite how emotions may feel) why? Gal. 5:22 NKJV tells us But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. We must daily choose to let the Fruit of the Spirit grow in our lives.
The Scriptures tell us 1 Kings 15:5 NKJV Because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him ALL the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. David had learnt a bitter lesson, and with the Lord’s enabling he maintained a joy filled life. He wrote in Psalm 16:11 NKJV You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fulness of JOY; at your righth and are pleasures for evermore.
I said sometimes despite what our emotions tell us we must still walk in joy, and may have to do what King David said in Psalm 5:11 NKJV But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever SHOUT FOR JOY, because You defend them, let those who love your name be JOYFUL in You.
In Psalm 47:1 NKJV David says Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph! There may be times when you have to CLAP AND SHOUT and let the joy flow.
I am not saying we must live in an emotional high, but as we walk before the Lord with no unconfessed sin including unforgiveness in our hearts for others, we can know that deep sweet joy and declare with Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The above is not just words, but can be THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE FOR THE BELIEVER. Lord help us to walk in Joy amen.