Joy???????

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I’m trading my sorrows
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord
I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord
And we’re singing

Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord
Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord, Amen

If you’ve been around the church scene a while you probably remember this song. I haven’t heard this song is ages, but for some reason, I woke up singing it this morning. I’m glad God calls my singing a joyful noise, because I am not so sure my family would!

Joy. When was the last time you felt that rising up in you? It’s easy to think that joy is either something I have or something I don’t have; some people just naturally exude joy, while others, not so much. But joy is a choice.  We can choose to trade whatever is weighing heavy on us for joy, the joy of the Lord.

We choose throughout our day to let circumstances, diagnoses, situations, finances, symptoms, and here’s a big one, other people steal our joy. Why not choose joy?  Ok, but how?

To press the heavenly grapes by meditation,

and make the red wine flow forth in torrents,

is an exercise as strengthening as it is exhilarating.

Joy comes from the same truths which support our strength,

and comes by the process of meditation.

Charles Surgeon


Did you catch that? It’s an exercise; an exercise of meditating on the truths that support our strength. Not meditating on the circumstances that are taking the breath right out of us, not meditating on the comments or moods or attitudes or presence or absence of another person, but meditating on the truths that support our strength, not exploit our weaknesses.

We get to choose what to meditate on. We can turn to the truths in scripture and allow them to sink into our hearts and rise again as joy. We can trade our sorrows, our sickness, our pain, our circumstances to God and receive back His joy, joy that comes from trusting Him with all that concerns us and our family and friends.

With physical exercise, we start small, we build stamina and muscles and our exercise becomes easier. I think it is the same with exercising meditation. We may start small, but if we keep with it, we may be surprised to find joy bubbling up out of us.

Lord of all creation, Lord of my life, You alone know the things that would rob my joy. You also know, the times I meditate on those things long before I turn to meditate on Your word. Forgive me, and help me to turn to You first, to purposefully choose to meditate on the truths that support my strength, to trade my sorrows for Your joy, Your joy that knows no bounds.  Thank You for that great exchange. Today, would You be big in my life, in my thoughts and meditations, and may Your joy be evident in my life, may it overflow to those I come in contact with. I ask in Your gracious name, Jesus. Amen.

 

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