We went to a John Denver Tribute concert last night with some friends. We obviously have awesome friends who would attend this show with us–as it turns out, besides one or two other couples, we were by FAR a generation younger than all the other attendees! It was an enjoyable concert, as you would expect (no sarcasm, I’m serious….a dude looking and sounding like John Denver singing the man’s greatest hits….it was amazing). One song began that I wasn’t familiar with and as I listened to the words, I was stabbed with that deep conviction that you know comes from the Holy Spirit. The song, “Matthew,” includes this line in the chorus: “Joy was just a thing that he was raised on…”
Am I raising my kids on joy? Of course we have our moments of fun, laughter, pure joy, but so often I default to things like stress, frustration, impatience, or just a whole lot of blah. Is joy a way of life for us? Does the joy of the Lord bubble up from within me?
I was truly convicted–I’m still not sure how I can make room for more joy in my heart and in my home, but I know that whenever I seek something godly with all my heart, the Lord doesn’t deny me. Change can hurt and be difficult, but I trust Him to begin the change in me. I began with reading about joy in the Bible….I know there are so many verses with the word “joy” in them, but I wasn’t sure what the Word says about living in joy. Wondering how to “make” more joy in my life (because I’m a real do-it-yourselfer), the doxology in Jude reminded me that it is GOD who is able to bring this about in me.
A few of the verses that spoke most to me:
(All emphasis and italics mine.)
Psalm 126:2 “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.””
Jesus said in John 17:13, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”
Doxology from Jude:24, “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”