1 Chronicles 15:16 “And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.”
There are parts of the Old Testament that are more difficult to read than others.
To read through the measurements of the tabernacle or the genealogies, can seem a bit dry. Knowing that God put them there for a reason, I have prayed that God shows me things where I may not look as profoundly, study, or meditate on as much.
Today, that little phrase at the end of this verse jumped out.
I began to think, how much of what I do for God is ‘with joy?’
As I come to sit and read my Bible every morning, do I read it with joy?
When I kneel in prayer, do I remember the cost for me to have direct access to the Father, and do it ‘with joy?’
Assembled with my church to worship, do I do it ‘with joy?’
Life has its seasons, and we cannot expect to be topside all the time. But, for those things we are called to do, what type of spirit do we bring?
Joy is not happiness. Happiness is fleeting and circumstantial. Joy can permeate the darkest of times, bring a song to heavy hearts, and comfort in such a way that happiness cannot.
Joy is not always abundance, happiness, or fun. It can be a calm assurance, light that breaks through to lighten our minds and hearts, and lifts our spirits when burdened.
The greatest joy that we experience comes at salvation. The knowledge of being set free from the bonds, punishment, and penalty of sin is like no other.
Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
The best definition I have heard for the word rejoice is revisiting our original joy (salvation).
Science tells us that our senses cannot sustain a constant input. Take our olfactory nerves or our sense of smell. When someone sprays a fragrance on their person, they will only smell it for a while, and then it disappears. The reason being, God created us that our sense of smell could be overwhelmed and rendered incapable of distinguishing another scent due to the abundance of odors.
Our minds are somewhat similar. Bombard your thoughts with the same truth day after day, and it will desensitize us. After having been saved over thirty years, salvation is very familiar. To hear a salvation message should cause my heart to rejoice, but it doesn’t always.
I must stop and think more deeply about what that salvation cost, what sins forgiven, and the beautiful promises I now have as an adopted child of the King of Kings. When I revisit my joy, I can allow my heart to feel the freedom, forgiveness, and finality of it.
Reading God’s Word should be similar as well.
Jeremiah 15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”
We must always be on guard to not allow the reading of the Word of God to be commonplace, a duty, or a chore. If we look throughout history, we will find a bloody trail of those who gave their lives to keep and preserve the Bible we now hold. Our enemy knows its power and has felt the cutting edge enough times to know.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
We have God’s promise that He will accomplish what He set out to do.
Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
So, when you and I live out this life, we can tap into the joy available to us day after day.
We can serve with joy.
We can read His Word with joy.
We can revisit the source of our joy in salvation.
We can also have joy in serving.
Acts 13:52 “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.”
Finally, when we reach our home, we can bring such joy to our Savior when we are presented to the Father faultless.
Jude 24 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,”
I believe we cannot fathom the joy we will experience in His presence. But, we can have a small piece of that joy here on earth. Take some time to revisit your salvation. Meditate on the price paid to redeem your soul.
Let the emotions flow and praise Him with a heart full of joy!