While doing some devotional reading this morning, I was interrupted by a request to pray for a friend who was being overwhelmed with the circumstances that are currently surrounding their life. It was as if the enemy had them surrounded and was attacking from every side. As I read between the lines of this prayer request, I realized that there seemed to be no tangible or apparent “joy” in the life of this individual who always brings such joy to the hearts and lives of those who know them. I realized that they needed a renewed heavenly perspective on things, much like the perspective that Asaph the Psalmist received when he looked beyond the perceived inequity of his circumstances… and saw the Lord. (Psalm 73:13-14, 16-17).
When I returned to my reading (after praying for the afore mentioned friend) I was met with the following – which I gladly share with all of you for your careful consideration & prayerful meditation: “Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when The King is in residence there.” (unkown)
“Joy should be one of the chief characteristics of our Christian faith. Only a joyful, exuberant Christian is a worthy representative of the transforming power of Christ’s Gospel. But what is this spiritual joy? It is much more than mere laughter; it is much more even than happiness (which is the result of ‘happenings’ in our lives that can change in a moment). Joy is the fruit a life that is at rest in the Lord… regardless of life’s circumstances.” (Kenneth Osbeck)
The following verses came to my mind as I was “musing” over the above ~ “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a hind, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19, nlt)
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; and being confident in Him, I will keep watch. I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God WILL hear me.” (Micah 7:7; amplified)
“O my soul, wait thou only upon God – for my hope and my expectation is from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; my fortress; I shall not be shaken! On God rests my salvation and my glory; my refuge is God, my Mighty Rock. [Therefore] trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us! Selah” (Psalm 62:5-7)
“Rejoice in the Lord always – delight and gladden yourselves in Him; again I say it, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4; amplified)
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)