Fighting for Joy (Finding Joy in the Midst of my Life)

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Day 11

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the people’s with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the people in his truth.

If only we could see God as he is. If we could get a glimpse of his glory… the joy of his countenance, the radiance of his personage…it would make a difference. But we can’t see God.

Honestly, at times, Christians even get depressed. The Psalmist is an example. He encountered a lot of ups and downs in life. Certainly, God knows our human state. He understands every turn of events that creates hurt in our hearts. He knows us. We don’t have to hide our emotions from our all-knowing God. What good does that do?

We read a Psalm like this on joy, and it makes our heart yearn for God. It makes us desire his presence. His love, and the radiance of God’s face to shine upon us…

I wish some days I could just climb up in his lap like a child and rest there in his arms. Maybe down here, even the best of days, pale compared to the way it will be in heaven. Maybe, we feel depressed sometimes because deep in our hearts, we know nothing in this world can ever satisfy.

And that hurt in our hearts, points us to Father God, our Father who sees us as his children. He sees when our toys break. He understands our hearts when our piggy banks break. He knows how we feel when the sky is cloudy, and the day is dark. He knows how it feels when our hearts break. He knows, and he cares.

Maybe what this Psalm is after is to challenge us… that Maybe the songs we have sung before our hearts were broken, were happy songs about circumstantial joy. Whereas now, now as we hold our broken toys, our broken dreams up to Father God, and cry, Daddy fix it…he cares, but the one thing he longs to fix most, is not so much our broken toys, or even our broken dreams, but our  hearts. I think He wants to re-purpose us so we are not fixated on the latest rage in toys, or even dreams. He wants our lives to reorient around the things that last forever, and to seek his kingdom and his righteousness first. And then, all will find perspective.

Today, let’s sing to the LORD a new song, adjusting the focus of our hearts to the things of heaven, not so much the things of earth.

Prayer: God you know us. You understand we are people with senses. We desire to hold our treasures in our hands. We want to store them up, so we can look at them, count them, feel the pride of ownership. You desire we store treasures up in heaven. We want to smell, feel, see, hear, taste – in order to know a thing is real. Whereas you want us to have faith, without having to smell, feel, see, hear, taste… God we need your help to wrap our minds around what it means to seek you first… and what true Christian joy is all about.

We need you to help us separate ourselves from the worldly treasures we have come to place such value upon that it depresses us when we can’t afford them, they break, wear out, or become obsolete.

Oh, God, show us there is hope for us. Help us reorient our hearts to seek you first. To truly desire you, above any earthly thing. For then, our joy can be boundless. In Jesus, Amen.

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