Posts Tagged joy
While reading Proverbs chapter 29 today, a particular verse jumped out at me:
6 An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.
The phrase “a righteous one can sing and be glad” caught my attention. I stopped reading and began to meditate on this one short verse.
I thought about how much emotion is embodied in that small phrase. As a musician and a worship leader, I notice when I hear people singing or whistling or humming. I watch for people singing. It seems I don’t hear it too often, but when I do, it makes me smile. A person caught singing or humming to themselves is a usually person at ease, full of joy.
Why then is it so rare to see? Well, the first part of the verse talks about the consequences of sin. What is an evil man? At first, I thought of an unremorseful felon, or a sadistic murderer. But, as I thought about it, an evil man is simply one who has unconfessed sin. A man carrying around some secret or even an unknown sin such as unforgiveness or pride, is one who is weighed down and who’s joy is blocked. Eventually, unconfessed sin festers and affects every part of one’s life.
As Christians, we should be going about our business with real joy and peace – filled with songs and smiles and peace. We have the promise of forgiveness, salvation, blessing and unconditional love from our heavenly Father. No weapon formed against us will prosper. God is for us, so who can be against us? Who can separate us from the love of God? And the promises go on and on…
Don’t feel like singing? Don’t feel glad? Perhaps it’s time to stop the “busyness” and ask God what it is that is robbing us of our joy. Then – stay still long enough to listen for His answer. He is calling us to walk in joy and peace. He doesn’t want us to be weighed down with financial worries, family concerns, snared by addictions, defeated by our past, troubled with health issues. This is how Satan would have us exist – chained up and miserable.
If you’re not a Christian and want to know more about these promises, I’d recommend you find a Bible-believing church in your area and go and start asking questions. Or, you can start here.
God – free me of my busyness. Be so persistent in me with your calling that I must stop and commune with you all the time. Help me to return to a constant state of prayer – never ceasing. Tell me those things that are blocking my joy. I turn over to You all those things that have been weighing me down and robbing me of my joy. Help me to once again be filled with peace and the joy of the Lord. Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light. I trade my burdens with You, Lord. I’m sorry, Lord, for how I have been acting. I am grateful for how You have blessed me. Forgive me for acting like I don’t even know You. I love You, Lord.
grace & peace,
1 When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. 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.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
Did you catch that last part? Verses 4 – 6 lifted my spirit today. In the last three years, in particular, I’ve had my share of tears and weeping. Yet, with the help of my family and the brothers in my men’s group, I have not wasted away in pity. Well, I did have my many moments, but someone always came along side me and helped lift me up.
Now, as verse 6 indicates, my life is pretty much a blessing every day I live.
Just for fun, I looked up the word sheaves and I found this: “A quantity of the stalks and ears of wheat, rye, or other grain, bound together; a bundle of grain or straw.”
So basically, the encouragement for me today is no matter what happens, press on and continue doing God’s will and you will be restored with songs of joy and everything you need.
God, you are amazing! Thank you for your grace & mercy!
grace & peace,