Devotional: June 4, 2020
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
God desires to bring us joy! This theme is woven throughout the scriptures. These different verses are a small sample of the many different times when joy is mentioned in God’s Word.
God desires to bring us all joy! Remember this truth when the world tries to tell us the opposite. God is full of joy. He takes pleasure in our joyfulness. The deepest truth is that God desires to bless us with joy.
Scripture put to music is a wonderful way to remember this message. There are many great songs of our faith that reinforce the joyful aspect of our faith.
One beloved hymn is “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
Sometimes we sing something we know so well, without dwelling on the words. The visual message in this hymn is a wonderful reminder to us of God’s unfolding love all around us daily. The stained-glass windows in our church were inspired by this very hymn.
As a youth, I would attend Tall Timber church camp, where you couldn’t help but be joyful, looking up at the surrounding mountains, and God’s amazing creation. There we would sit around the campfire, and sing songs of joy, often with much laughter. Here is one song which we sang:
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart
At Christmas, a time of great joy, we celebrate the birth of Christ. We sing “Joy to the World”. This great hymn amplifies the good news which the angel brought to Mary, and to the shepherds out in their fields: that a Savior is born in our world, and His name is Christ the Lord!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
God desires to bring us joy! So, when the news of the world gets you down, and discouraged, remember that God is ever-present. He will carry away our fear, our burdens, and our worry, when we remember to place them in His hands. Even when things may appear joyless, God is with us. Celebrate this truth, each and every day.
God of love,
Thank you for reminding us that there is always joy in our world. May we lean upon Your joy for strength when we are weary. Help us to share Your joy with others. In the words of the great hymn, let us repeat the sounding joy, for our world is desperate for this good news of great joy. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ holy name.