We will be glad and rejoice in thee.
Song of Solomon 1:4
I often think of how much my life was impacted by joy in 1994. Before that time I can’t say supernatural joy was a major part of my life. Most of what I considered joy up until that time was connected to answered prayers and fulfilled goals. I connected joy to rejoicing in the work of God, not to God Himself. I was really alien to the experience of joy when everything was going wrong. I was so consumed with the technical aspects of Christianity, I must be doing something wrong if all these bad things were happening. That’s when, as C.S. Lewis once said, I was ‘surprised by joy’. Up until 1994 I never saw joy as a person, I looked at joy as the response to the things God had done. Everything changed when I was deeply touched by the Holy Spirit that summer; joy was on me, joy was in me, joy was pulsating in every fiber of my being. For the first time I understood passages like ‘in the presence of the Lord is fulness of joy’, and ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength’.
As we start this new year I want to start it off with joy. I have no real idea what awaits me this year but His joy is certain and sufficient in every circumstance. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon about beginning the year with joy.
“We will be glad and rejoice in thee. We will not open the gates of the year to the dolorous notes of the sackbut (a trombone like instrument), but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy, and the high sounding cymbals of gladness. O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation. We, the called and faithful and chosen, we will drive away our griefs, and set up our banners of confidence in the name of God. Let others lament over their troubles, we who have the sweetening tree to cast into Marah’s bitter pool, with joy will magnify the Lord.”
Singing is our vent for the joy of the Lord. Look closely at the songs you are singing and listening to. If these songs are not pulsating with joy you may want to sing a new song. Time is too short to sing the sad songs, the joy of the Lord is our strength.