Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Joy of the Lord

UV 2015/10000 The Joy of the Lord
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 17 v 22

Maintaining a happy heart has a healing effect on our whole being or spirit, mind and body. A broken spirit or mental depression has the reverse effect. It makes our spirit downcast, our minds divided and broken and our bodies weak and sickly. A broken spirit saps our energy and makes us feel drained and powerless. The enemy of our souls wants us to be robbed of our peace, health and joy. He intends to kill our joy. Joy is not mood-based. It is not transient or dependent on external circumstances or happenings. In order to maintain a happy heart, one needs to think positive thoughts, enjoy positive experiences, have positive feelings and speak positive words. Happiness is not the truth as William Pharrel makes it out to be in his popular song but knowing the truth makes one not only happy but blessed. Blessing is not man-made but God-ordained happiness. Knowing Jesus is the way to know God and the truth of life. Joy strengthens us. It enables us to worship the Lord and to enjoy our lives. Maintaining a happy heart being the antidote to the great ills of life, we need to simultaneously sow the seed, mow the weed, fill ourselves with the positive and empty ourselves of the negatives.

Scripture states that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” This implies that what the Lord finds joy in ought to give us our greatest delight. He delights in His beloved Son Jesus. Hence, we find our strength in Him. He delights in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and so, we find our strength in the Holy Spirit. He delights in righteousness and so we delight in trying to be righteous. He delights in people studying, meditating and praying over scripture and so we find strength in it. God is not a joy-killer but a joy-filler. He answers our prayers when we are broken so that we are made whole again, we are healed and we can rejoice. Joy is not a one time filling but a filling again and again. We need to practice being joyful in our daily lives by being thankful for all the blessings the Lord He has given us. Our faces mirror the happiness or joy of our hearts. Our joy is based on receiving the promises of the Lord and experiencing its fulfilment in our lives over time. Faith in the promises of the Lord is the mustard seed of joy. Joy is a fruit of the spirit, implying that we need to be anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit to be continually and eternally joyful.

Knowing the purpose of the Lord for our lives and working towards fulfilling it gives us great joy. Understanding the reason why certain things have happened in our lives gives us peace. Knowing that nothing happens without the Lord’s knowledge and sovereign will allowing it gives us the sense of security. Trusting the Lord with all our heart gives us access to wisdom, peace and eventual joy. We find joy in the presence of the Lord. We find joy in His Word. We need to increase the intensity of the joy of our inner being such that no circumstance or happening can affect it, nothing can break our spirit or dry our bones. Prayer and edifying prophetic words also have the effect of blowing the breath of the Lord upon our dry bones. The purpose of joy is not merely an emotional sop or to prop us up but that we are robust and strong in our faith and our ways.

Prateep V Phillip

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