When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Psalm 126:1-6 (NIV)
God and laughter go together. God is joy…the joy of the lord is our strength.
This month we take a look at a Joyful Attitude and we move from attitudes of the mind to attitudes of the heart.
What is joy and what it’s not
We’re not talking about those with a joyful gene like my daughter, you know those annoyingly happy people. And we’re not talking about fake joy, a manufactured joy, those you equally want to smack upside their head (NCIS style). It’s not dependent on what’s going on, what’s happening (as in happy). We are talking about joy that comes from our restored relationship with God, like living a dream (v1). It is not the joy we find apart from God.
Living the Jubilee life is about restoration. We experience deep joy as if it were infused into our very cells. With joy comes laughter and not like laughing at joke, but from an easiness in the heart.
Why are we to be joyful?
The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy so that we lose our joy – no joy, no strength. Jesus came to give life in abundance – an abundance of joy that can only be found in him. (John 10:10). Without joy filling our hearts we cannot live and enjoy the life Christ so selflessly and painfully came to give us. Without joy we cannot show others what a life with Christ means for who would want to follow Christ if all his followers are wearing frowns. When we show our joy in the Lord to an unbelieving world even when our own world is falling apart to make them wonder and want.
A Prayer for Joy
Help us to remember Lord, that joy in You give us strength and to joy in all circumstances.
More posts on a joyful attitude
Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes