Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God,
I will give thanks to you forever.
Psalm 30:5, 11-12
Psalm 30 was the source for our Lenten theme, “There Will Be Joy,” which was carefully chosen for its important reminder that joy is an assured aspect of our life experience as Christians. Given the remarkable year we have just lived through, we certainly understand that this joy differs from “happiness,” which is closely tied to circumstances and our expectations. God’s joy is an experience of continuous and deep well-being, regardless of the ever-changing circumstances on the surface of our lives. It is based on the secure knowledge that God, who is Love, is constantly and creatively working out his good will beneath the chaotic ups and downs of our daily lives.
Last week’s discovery that “eternal life” indicates living life now in the unending presence of God provides us with an unshakable foundation for a life of joy lived daily in God’s presence. Trusting God’s endlessly creative expressions of his love throughout creation, joy can be found woven through all of life. With grateful hearts, we find joy in relationships, service to others, generosity, creativity, nature’s beauty, the list is endless. Even when adversity comes, joy is present when we find that we are never alone in our struggles. Joy is the perfect word to describe living each day knowing we are accompanied by Love, continuously working to redeem, restore, sustain and guide each of us.
There Will Be Joy
Joy is not in things;
it is in us.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
I cannot even imagine where I would be today
were it not for that handful of friends who
have given me a heart full of joy.
Charles R. Swindoll
Let your joy be in your journey –
not in some distant goal.
Find a place inside where there is joy,
and the joy will burn out the pain.
My dear brothers and sisters,
the joy we feel has little to do with
the circumstances of our lives
and everything to do with
the focus of our lives.
Russell M. Nelson
Joy is the simplest form
You will make known to me the path of life;
in your presence is fullness of joy.
Though you have not seen [Christ], you love him;
and even though you do not see him now,
you believe in him and are filled
with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
for you are receiving the goal of your faith,
the salvation of your souls.
I Peter 1:8-9
The joy of the Lord is your strength.
May the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.