This is the day the lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24 NLT
George Willis Cook wrote a song in the 1920’s that has stood the course of time. Once you start singing it, it’s hard to stop. It goes like this, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart.”
These simple words have great significance. We long to embrace the joy that often escapes and eludes us.
Bittner writes, “Joy, like any other attitude, can come and go. It is not guaranteed simply because we are believers. We must put ourselves in the places where experiencing joy is a possibility.”
Joy is a response and resolution of our heart. D. Miall Edwards said, “Christian joy is no mere gaiety that knows no gloom, but is the result of the triumph of faith over adverse and trying circumstances, which, instead of hindering, actually enhance it.
Joy Is A Choice. Joy is not an emotion, but an expectation. It can’t be forced, it must be forged. James reminds us of our decision each time we face difficulties, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2 NLT). It’s our choice.
Joy Is A Confidence. When we place our trust in God, we change our perspective on our troubles. We move from regret and remorse to rejoicing. Youngblood writes, “Even when David’s enemies were hunting him down and closing in, he was able to compose joyful psalms of praise to God. He rejoiced in his understanding that God could flatten any army, resolve any conflict, and confuse the plans of those who sought to kill him. He was joyful in the Lord.” The author of Hebrews tells us, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Heb 12:2 NLT)
Joy Is Continual Praise. C. S. Lewis wrote, “Joy is serious business in Heaven”. Our praise effects our perception. We shift from our grief to His glory. We change our difficulties into delight. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Luke 6:22-23 NIV). The psalmist writes, “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Ps 27:6 NKJV) “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” (Ps 47:1) And, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.” (Ps 71:23)
Joy Is Circumstance Free. We often become subjects to our surroundings and captives to our circumstances. The psalmist rested in God’s care in spite of his conflicts. David writes, “For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.” (Psalm 27:5-7 NIV).
Joy is Consecration. David knew the condition of his heart was a conduit for joy. He writes, “Hate evil, you lovers of the Eternal. He protects the souls of those who follow Him; He rescues them from the devices of the wicked. Light is sown in the just; as it grows, it brings joy to the pure of heart.” (Ps 97:10-11 TVT) Jesus also encourages us, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:10-12 NIV)
This day is God’s gift to each of us. It’s a day He has made . . . let’s rejoice and be glad in it!