For the joy of the Lord is your strength!
~Nehemiah 8:10b NLT
Sometimes, we just need a little re-joy.
When I taught elementary school, there were many lessons I delivered with passion. I instructed. They practiced. The activity then became a station in the class rotation for the week. Then, after much-supervised instruction in class, I intentionally sent homework in their folders to reinforce the new skill. Finally, after several days, it was testing time.
For a teacher, testing created an opportunity to measure my teaching ability for that skill. Yes, the students earned grades, but the test also exposed weak and strong areas in my teaching performance. If all, or at least the majority, of my students showed proficiency, I knew I had done my job well.
However, on some tests, the entire class bombed. If everyone, including my proficient students, performed poorly, I quickly knew I did not teach the skill well enough. It was time for a re-do. Something had happened while learning the skill that caused the understanding to wane. A disconnect occurred somewhere. We needed to try again.
When my pastor referenced Psalm 51 in his sermon, I remembered the line, “Restore the joy of your salvation.” The funny part was that our pastor mixed up his words and said “Re-joy.”
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.
~Psalm 51:12 NLT
Re-joy is exactly what some of us need to experience. We already had joy at one time, but something happened in the process of doing life that caused our joy to wane. A disconnect occurred somewhere. And we need to try again.
Joy killers are on every corner in the form of distraction, stress, sickness, fear, grief, anxiety, depression, change, sadness, hardship, rebellion, and addiction. They sneak in under unassuming cloaks, only slowly, showing their joyless streaks.
We think we are handling life well and situations are running smoothly. We even applied joy when times got tough and kept our heads in the game.
But for some reason, it’s more difficult this time. We are in the middle of the assignment, and even though we thought we understood, we still struggle. We get many tries. Many attempts at doing things the right way. But for whatever reason, when life’s test comes, we come up short.
It’s time for re-joy. But joy isn’t something we can muster on our own. We must remember God’s faithfulness in our past storms. Recall His goodness and rehearse the truths we know and stand on. Then we pray, “God, restore my joy.”
How can you do a re-joy when the joy-killers come in from every side?
God, remind me of all the times You were present and performed mightily in my life. Help me recall all the goodness and blessings You’ve brought. I will rehearse all the truths I know about You and Your faithfulness. And God, I ask that You then restore the joy of Your salvation in my heart, soul, and mind. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2023: Re-Joy: Christy Bass Adams: All Rights Reserved
(photo courtesy of pixabay and pexel_photographer)