I’ve struggled to worship with a joyful heart.
This summer something horrible became obvious to me. It didn't happen immediately but more over time. I'm embarrassed to admit that I felt like I lost my joy. I felt like someone pulled the plug on my joy and sat there passively watching it drain because I didn't know how to stop it.
It didn't happen immediately. It was through a series of events. There were so tough things that happened at work. I hurt my back. We had to cut our vacation short because our son wasn't sleeping. There were things going on with family. I think if it was one of these I would have been fine, but the combination of all of them, happening so close together, made it tough.
A few weeks ago I was preaching at a summer camp near Big Bear Lake and the worship overpowered me, as I began singing I felt my heart begin to change. At first I was singing because "it was the right thing to do." I felt like if the speaker wasn't singing it would look bad. As the week progressed something changed. The words changed from just singing to worship. There was a particular song, Eternal King that For All Seasons sang. The words overpowered me. It was exactly what I needed to hear!
I felt my joy returning the more I sang it. Before camp was done I knew I had to get their album and get this song in my bones. On my drive home from camp I found myself listening to Eternal King on repeat. It was exactly what I needed to worship The Lord with Joy. The book of Nehemiah says:
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43The people had great joy because God had given them great joy!
You have the hope of eternity. You worship a living and active God who cares personally about each and every one of us. Sure, you might have struggles in the week but joy is found when we sing to the Lord.
When we do this others are going to notice our joy. People around us are going to start talking about us. They are going to start talking among themselves about the joy we exude. Then there will come a day when they will ask us about the joy we have. Others may have moments of happiness, but our joy will outlast that. The Jews rejoiced as they worshipped God. Their joy flooded the surrounding areas. It wasn’t their circumstances that had changed, it was their hearts. Your circumstances may not change, but you can still choose to worship God with joy. The reality is, we all worship something so let’s choose to worship God with a joyful heart.