There are so many things that fill our minds from the moment our feet hit the floor until we finally lay our heads down praying for a good night’s sleep, hoping tomorrow the sun will shine brightly. There is not an individual created by God that doesn’t long for peace and joy, but for some unknown reason we find it hard to sit down and recount the blessings of our lives. Our Creator has not ever left us as some may think. His desire, however, is for us to grow in the love He has provided, realizing and accepting that He will never leave us as He long ago promised His children. He formed each of us with a heart big enough to understand if we would simply trust Him and forge ahead instead of sitting down, wringing our hands and trying to imagine what sadness will next enter our lives. He even left us with a helper, the Holy Spirit who would never leave us although we constantly ignore Him. Our problems are those of our own making; will we never understand?
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away,
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.
This great hymn was penned by Rev. Henry van Dyke in the year 1907. Society has progressed a long way since that day, but are we so attracted by the things our human hands and minds have made that we have forgotten; that we no longer give God credit for the wisdom we have always wished for.
My little Danny is running back and forth from window to door enthralled by the sounds coming from the throats of many birds who are singing their little hearts out as they lift their voices in thanksgiving to their Creator for their life and the beautiful day. They know instinctively that their lives are not of their own making, but are because of the great love of a Father and so they sing their thanks. Is there something that we do regularly to show our thanks and has it become less meaningful because we do it automatically or do we knowingly watch each day to see how we might please Him in a different way? There must have been a special reason why the Lord gave us voices and melodies and I would venture to say it all has to do with joy and thanksgiving.
Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts, Thou Fount of Life, Thou light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts we turn unfilled to Thee again.
I believe that our Lord gave us joy in the first place to allow our spirits to have a way of expressing themselves and also that others might see and hopefully experience for themselves a better way of life. It is no secret that joy is as necessary to us in our daily lives as gasoline is to the vehicle we drive. That is if we expect to be of any value whatsoever.
There was a time when Paul was preaching and teaching in Corinth that the church was filled with distrust in his words, feeling he had no apostolic authority yet he defended himself with overwhelming evidence of his sincerity in serving God. The book of 2nd Corinthians set his response in print to give us strength in our own spells of weakness – I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation (7:4). Joy today acts as a valuable sustainer for energy and drive and contrary to earthly understanding, is a heavenly gift coming only from a Father who loves His creation and yearns for His children to know and love Him in return.
O Jesus, ever with us stay, make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away, shed o’er the world Thy holy light.