Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Strength of JOY

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.” (written by George Willis Cooke)
Have you heard that song? If you ever attended Sunday School or Vacation Bible School, you have sung that song. Joy radiates when that song is sung. Sing that song right now; does joy spring forth? Do you truly believe the words that you’re singing?
Last week’s post included a quote from Oswald Chambers stating that happiness depends on what happens; joy does not. Happiness is fleeting as our circumstances usually dictate how we feel. Our moods, whether good or bad, generally depend on the situation. But joy depends on nothing but God. If we are fully focused on Jesus, joy exudes from deep within us, no matter what besieges us. The power that comes from joy gives us strength to persevere through anything life throws at us. As it says in Nehemiah 8:10b (NKJV), “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
So how do we persist in keeping our thoughts on Christ? We pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), communing with Jesus all day long and worshipping Him whenever we can. We put our trust in God, knowing that what He ordains is much better than what we think we can maintain. And no matter how much pain is inflicted upon us, we keep our faith in Jesus Christ who sustains us. Thank you, Heavenly Father!
Hear the Word of the Lord and be filled with joy!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
Ex. 15:2 (NKJV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
Psalm 28:7 (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)

But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
Psalm 37:39 (NKJV)

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)

O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
You have covered my head in the day of battle.
Psalm 140:7 (NKJV)

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Isaiah 40:29 (NKJV)

I read a devotional this morning written by Michael Youssef (for information on him, go to He talked about three words, using Psalm 27. Those words are: worship (verses 1-3), walk (verse 8), and wait (verses 13-14). If we literally engage in those words with our Savior, He will supply all our needs. Then there will only be room in our souls for joy. And if we truly ascribe to the acronym for JOY (below), God will daily strengthen us!

J - Jesus
O - others
Y - you

Are you singing yet? Do you have joy down in your heart? Turn your eyes upon Jesus and the joy you receive will give you strength.

(As I’m writing this post, I’m struggling to stay joyful as I continue to grapple with blocked ears. So know that we are in this together and the only way through all of our pain is to worship Jesus, walk with Him daily, and wait on His perfect timing. We give you praise and thanksgiving, Lord Jesus!)

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