Monday, November 2, 2015

4 Steps to Make Sure Joy Comes in the Morning




            Do you feel depressed, frustrated, afraid, or lonely? Fear not, for joy comes in the morning! Let’s continue today with our look at whether or not God wants us to be happy and joyful.

            First, we’ll head back to the Psalms to looked at Psalm 30:5.


His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.


            There it is again. Joy. In this case, a shout of joy, cry, proclamation, rejoicing, singing, triumph. We can see again how God gives us joy. And if He’s giving, He must want us to be joyful!


Psalm 32:11, 35:27 and 42:4 shout joy, too.


Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you
            righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in
            heart!


Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
Let the LORD be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of
            His servant.


When I remembered these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of
            God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim
            feast.

           
            Again, these are shouting cries of gladness and joy; proclamations. The psalmist remembers what used to bring him joy. Read the last verse of Psalm 42 and you will find it identical to the next Psalm passage.


Psalm 43:4 says:

Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.

           
            This Psalm is an interesting one, because the Psalmist prays this right after asking God to vindicate him, to plead his case for him; to deliver him. He tells God that he feels cast off by Him, as though God has forgotten him.
           
            And then he asks himself a rhetorical question: Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? And he reminds himself that he can get out of that mourning mode by asking God to send His light and truth to him, and, probably, to others. And he expects that light and truth to lead him right to God so that he can praise Him. The joy here is a great joy, gladness and rejoicing.
           
            And at the end of the Psalm is the final reminder, the pep talk to himself:


Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within
            me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my
            God.


            He asks himself the question and then tells his disquieted soul how to be happy, how to regain that joy. What’s the answer he gives? Hope. Specifically: hope in God. The hope that makes his face transform from slumping to smiling! I can almost hear him say, “What’s the matter with me!? What am I thinking? I know how to fix this and my downtrodden spirit! Hope! Hope in God who restores joy!”
           
            Then there is the well-known Psalm 126:5-6:


Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth
            weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with
            rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

           
            Another shout of joy, a triumphant song! A reminder that this too shall pass, and there will again be cause for celebration. Hope, trust and faith.

           
            Are you not experiencing joy? Does your morning just bring more heartache and frustration? Would you rather stay in bed than get up and go about business with a smile on your face?
           
            If you’re lacking joy and happiness, pray for it. Fervently. Hope in the One who can restore it to you. And expect great answers from God!


1) Remember (remind yourself frequently) that joy comes after pain;
2) Give yourself a pep talk, and HOPE! And if you’re lacking hope, pray for more!
3) Remember those activities (and people) who gave you so much joy, and reunite with them.
4) Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness to restore what you are lacking.


            We’ll continue the discussion next week with more Old Testament joy passages.


So until next week,

Thanks for joining me!

Blessings,

Andrea



photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/56380734@N05/5216016972">Celestial joy</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>