Ps.89:15 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.

I used to love Wednesday night church in those early days at our Kawanee Church. The building was small, no carpet, and we had wooden pews. When the church was full of happy people, the sound was indescribable. We would sing and rejoice, there is not a happier sound in all the earth, “how happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” After years went by, and we had moved several times, those happy services seemed like a distant memory, that is until 1994. That was the year I began to hear the “joyful sound” again. This time it was an even greater intensity than before, sometimes, we would be filled with such unspeakable joy, it seemed like we had actually stepped over into heaven itself. I guess in one sense we had, the Holy Spirit is a little taste of the reality of heaven, we were definitely experiencing the edges of those upper regions. Jonathan Edwards preached a message about the “Chief Employment of Heaven”. His opinion was that the chief work of heaven is that joyful praise. Check out his comments about heaven’s joy.

“Praise is the most joyful work in the world. And how joyful a society (Edwards’ word for church or community) are they that join together, so many thousands and millions of them, with one heart and one soul, to sing a new song before the throne, that fill heaven with their glorious melody! How joyful they are in their work, appears in the text, by their fervency in it, so that their voices resounded as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder. What ineffable joy was there in those harpers whom John heard harping with their harps!”

The very heart of the church is the common joy that we share in Christ. When we are all drinking together of the goodness of God, our hearts are filled with joy expressed in the joyful sound. When we stop drinking together of that heavenly vintage, church can become a miserable place. Instead of songs of joy we hear whispering of complaints, innuendo, and disagreements. The sound of joy is replaced with a deathly silence, there is nothing worse than a church that has lost it’s joy. How is it with your soul today. When you think of your church is your heart flooded with the essence of His presence that you experience in times of worship, or do you immediately gravitate to the “somebody done me wrong song”? The song that you sing is a reflection of your heart, the song is the overflow of what is going on inside of you. How can we change the music, how can we be filled with the joyful sound once again? Actually it is very simple. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. One glimpse of His presence is all you need. In His presence it is hard to remember our offenses, after all He has forgiven us, how can we not forgive those we perceive to have wronged us. One glimpse of His amazing beauty is all it takes, you too will be filled with the joyful sound.

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