May 30

Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.  Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Psalm 103: 22 

Be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves,  Ephesians 5: 18-19 

I choose to write about joy today, although the scripture verses for today do not directly refer to that topic.  

My Webster dictionary defines joy as “1. A feeling of happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being, and 2. A source of happiness. Can’t argue with those definitions, they certainly ring true.  My problem comes from the difference between that kind of joy and the joy that comes from the Lord. 

So how can we define the “joy of the Lord”?  I don’t believe that it comes from success or good fortune.  It might be connected to a sense of well-being but not always.  It maybe doesn’t always include a feeling of happiness.  My definition of the joy that comes from God is a deep seated knowledge that whatever happens in my life, the love and mercy of the Lord has saved me, blessed me, and will one day bring me home. 

How do we show that we have the joy of God in our hearts?  How can anyone look at us and see that joy?  That question troubles me.  Perhaps because I don’t always act as though I am joyful.  Circumstances challenge us, we may be angry, disappointed, distraught. But the fact remains that God is always with us and he will see us through. 

I don’t know why I wanted to write about joy today.  Maybe I needed to think it through for myself.  Whatever happens in your life or mine today, I wish us all joy. 

Most holy God, we know that your promises are real and true and that you wish for us abundant and joyful lives.  Thank you for planting in us that knowledge of your love and mercy.  Help us to show our joy to others.  Amen 

Joan Perlich