Erring on the Side of Joy

joy

“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 46-47

The concept of joy, gratitude, and celebration has been on my heart this week.  This thought came back to me as I read these words above.

“They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God…”

In these verses, I noticed some key common ingredients found in the first disciples of Jesus.  It was joy, humility and praise, combined with an intentional commitment to meeting and doing life together that attracted others to the Lord.

Yesterday, I had this thought: If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then His joy is the fuel we run on. Joy is a critical component to successful day-to-day living in Christ.

And today, I had this thought: It is joy that sustains a disciple and it is joy that makes a disciple attractive.

This is one of the reasons I write during my quiet time on a regular basis. Remembering how the Lord has loved me and continues to love me is the gas, the energy, that keeps me going. I need His joy. I need to celebrate…not just the big moments, but the small ones too.

Did you notice in the above verse that even doing something as normal as eating, that the disciples did it with joy?  The disciples seized every moment as a celebration. Every moment was sacred.

The other account that keeps coming to mind is the story of King David dancing and celebrating “undignified” before the Lord.  Saul’s daughter, Michal, was disgusted by the display, but the Lord was honored.  I can’t help but think to myself, how do I want to respond to God’s goodness and faithfulness in my daily life?  Do I want to err on the side of a critical eye…like Michal? Or do I want to err on the side of reckless, humiliating joy?

I’m still thinking and “joyfully” chewing on all of this.  But, here’s a reminder for us today.  Joy is essential.  If you are running on empty today, let His joy equip you with the nourishment your soul is craving.

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I wasn’t quite finished writing this post when I had to stop and drive my son to school.  As I prepared to walk out the door, I thought to myself…that’s okay, Lord, perhaps you’ll give me a song like you have done so many times in my life. 

As I drove to my son’s school, this song from Rend Collective started playing on the car radio. I don’t ever remember hearing it before.  I turned up the volume, smiled and said to my son, “this song is from God.”   Lord keep blowing us away with your breadcrumbs.  They bring joy to my soul!

“Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.” Ps 90:14

“You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.” Ps 63:5

“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May You shelter them, and may those who love Your name boast about You.” Ps 5:11

“But the righteous are glad; they rejoice before God and celebrate with joy.” Ps 68:3

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like watercourses in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
Though one goes along weeping,
carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
carrying his sheaves.” Psalm 126

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