Joy!

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You shall go out with joy, be led forth in peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth before you into singing, and all of the trees of the field will clap their hands. – Isaiah 55:12

What an expression of pure joy! It’s the kind of joy I long to experience, to live my life in praise to God. Such joy doesn’t come naturally for me. The toils of life push me down, and often disturb my joy. Problems and concerns often assail me. But I believe that there is a secret to finding joy, prayer and singing.

It works every time, no matter how grave your circumstance. Sincere prayer, giving praise to God with your whole heart, and singing songs of joy are remedies for the blues. And God desires that we experience that kind of joy.

I think it’s all about making life’s journey a spiritual journey. Wendell Berry writes about such a journey.

The world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.

When my journey turns the corner leading to sadness and I am feeling melancholy, my cousin always says, “Be joyful!” That is very good advice. Feeling joy brightens my journey and invigorates my physical, spiritual and emotional being.

And so today, I embrace joy!

Stones in the Road

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When we are experiencing trials, God is faithful. When circumstances in life become unbearable, God is faithful. When sadness takes over our spirits, God is faithful.

Our life journey is filled with obstacles, stones in the road, a pathway strewn with stumbling blocks. No one gets through life on an easy, clear path, at least no one that I have ever known. All of us face challenges that have the power to stop us in our tracks.

But the miracle remains. We get through. We overcome the obstacles. We navigate the rocky path. We climb the most treacherous mountains. We continue the journey and we don’t give up. The reason can be found in the tenth chapter of 1 Corinthians.

God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 New English Translation

So I plan to move forward on the journey, slow and steady steps, avoiding the stones in the road. I can do that because God is faithful to not let me endure more than I can handle.

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is a beloved hymn that has provided comfort through the ages:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness; Great is Thy faithfulness;
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

I hope you will take a moment to listen to this comforting hymn at this YouTube link:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1nmKHfjp8WE&autoplay=1