Regardless of how my singing sounds, down in the deepest parts of my soul there is an expression of joy.
My soul sings.
I love that phrase, My soul sings. While it is not found in one particular verse of scripture (though Psalm 103 and Psalm 31 will get you close), the phrase resonates with my feeling of being closely and intimately connected to the Lord.
I can best describe it as the feeling of having a rough day, but then watching your children sleep peacefully at night. In moments like that, everything fades and your soul sings. It is in those moments that I no longer care about the stressors of the day, only being in awe of the gift of being a parent. It’s a refill of joy, an expression of happiness that isn’t dependent on a particular outcome.
That’s a pretty great definition of joy – happiness that isn’t dependent on a particular outcome.
Now I consider myself to be a pretty optimistic guy. However, I’ve got to take the same bumps and bruises of life that everyone else navigates. Just because there are moments that I may not be feeling or expressing happiness outwardly doesn’t mean I’ve lost this joy internally.
There is a deeper aspect when defining joy; Joy in the Lord is an assurance and confidence that He’s in control despite the outlook.
Because of joy we can praise God in every situation.
I often think of Joseph who was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused and thrown in prison. Throughout it all Joseph always maintained his joy. He never faltered in his confidence that the Lord was still in control despite the downward spiral he seemed to be stuck in.
In Genesis 50:20 Joseph finally was able to express restoration of the things he suffered at the hands of his brothers by saying “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good”. Even with evil plotted against him, Joseph knew that joy was a source of strength (Nehemiah 8:10) if he was obedient in his relationship with
the Lord (John 15:9-11).
Joy is an essential attribute of the Christian heart (Galatians 5:22), and will be a valuable resource for you to pull on when life displays its unpredictable nature to us or in the communities we serve. Let’s go after a greater depth of joy by placing our assurance and confidence in the Lord despite any negative outlook. Use the strength he provides to overcome the difficulties of life and ministry.