Be Ye Joyful

Be Ye Joyful

“Sometimes you’ll find what you’re waiting for 
Was there all along just waiting for you 
To turn around and reconcile 

And it may be broken down 
All the bridges burned like an old ghost town 
But this my son can be made new 

It’s gonna be alright 
Shake it out and let back in the light 
And joy will come 
Like a bird in the morning sun 
And all will be made well 
And all will be made well 
And all will be made well 
Once again”

Josh Garrels “Morning Light”

I have mentioned in a previous post  how much the music of Josh Garrels means to me. His music is more than inspirational and relatable; it brings me to tears regularly and touches a deep part of my soul. The lyrics above are no exception. I hear them, and I am moved by the truth behind the song.

“Sometimes you’ll find what you’re waiting for 
Was there all along just waiting for you 
To turn around and reconcile”

This is an interesting line of the song to ponder. Sometimes exactly what we are looking for is waiting there for us to turn around and reconcile! We might be right where we need to be, but our heart needs to reach the place of reconciliation. The heart of God is for us to be reconciled unto Him and our hearts will only be made whole through this process. I have been sensing this lately in my own life, that I am in a place where I need to turn around and reconcile what is happening in order to move forward. Sometimes we can get completely stuck in a place, dig in our heels, and refuse to come to terms with what is unfolding before our eyes. When we do reach a place of being able to resolve what is before us, a beautiful thing can occur. But before the beautiful change can occur, we may realize:

And it may be broken down 
All the bridges burned like an old ghost town 
But this my son can be made new “

ghost town

There may be tremendous brokenness, bridges burned, or an empty, shadowed place. But, fortunately, this can all be made new. The word of God says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (emphasis mine)

It seems that throughout life there are unexpected times in our lives where bridges are burned and what used to be beaming with life, now resembles a ghost town. Why? Is it so that we can move forward into the new things that God has planned for our life? I do reflect on my own life where bridges have been burned and sometimes the wild fire that is burning the bridge uncomfortably pushes me forward and away from the old place. Change is uncomfortable, it is necessary, and it is guaranteed.

Another reminder about seeing things that are broken down and burned is to realize that everything on earth is fleeting. Truth is that anything that we do for our own sake on earth is meaningless. One hundred years from now only a few people in history will be remembered. I recently listened to a sermon by Timothy Keller about the fleeting nature of life. His point throughout the sermon is that life is meaningless (as it says in the book of Ecclesiastes) unless it has an eternal purpose. The key to a meaningful life is living with an eternal perspective and following Jesus Christ.

What I find to be very encouraging about this particular Josh Garrel’s song, is the reminder that newness can come from brokenness and from a place of hurt. That doesn’t mean that we won’t feel the pain or somehow just be okay with how everything is unfolding before our eyes.

What it does mean,

is that we can have hope.

And, it means that we can

choose to be joyful.

Joy is different than happiness, although happiness is a synonym for joy. Happiness is based on what is happening and circumstantial. Joy is a deep emotional feeling that isn’t fleeting, but rather is a constant underlying emotional state. Joy comes from the Lord and is the second fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22, sandwiched between love and peace. Our joy will be a result of our Christ-like behavior and attitude which comes from living a life following the Lord and being led by the Holy Spirit.

Joy can be a noun {a feeling of great pleasure and happiness} and can also be a verb {rejoice}. The Bible says to “Be Joyful” or “Rejoice” as a command for us to follow. We can have joy and be joyful because as Nehemiah 8:10 says, “…the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Furthermore, the Bible states that “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning!” (Psalm 30:5b) What a wonderful promise to hold on to! I have experienced this on several occasions… a night may be painful, with unforeseeable solutions, yet, somehow in the morning there is a renewed sense of hope and joy. This can only come from the Lord!

“The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.” C. S. Lewis

By nature, I am a very optimistic person and can usually find something good in almost every situation. I am naturally upbeat and positive, but I can still see the different between living a joy filled life, and a life of happiness based on circumstances. True joy comes from a decision to follow the command that the Lord states in the Bible…rejoice! True joy is rooted in a deep, emotional state that is a result (fruit) of living a life filled with the Holy Spirit.

“Joy is the serious business of heaven” C.S. Lewis

Joy does not make sense in this world when things go awry. Joy is counterintuitive to how we should respond to circumstances that debilitate us. Joy is not what you would expect when things don’t go as planned. And that is why Joy is from the Lord. It is only from Him and through Him that we can truly be joyful and rejoice in all circumstances.

“It’s gonna be alright 
Shake it out and let back in the light 
And joy will come 
Like a bird in the morning sun 
And all will be made well 
And all will be made well 
And all will be made well 
Once again”

The lyrics come to a close by saying that “joy will come…and all will be made well once again.” We know that the promise of God is that He will “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5) The promises of God are true and He can be fully trusted. Rejoice!

be joyful

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