Precious Truth: The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength
Today’s Reading from The Word
6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
When right prevails the people of a nation rejoice. No one wants oppression and injustice… even those who wield their power for such ends have a fearful anticipation of awaiting justice to fall upon them. Sometimes we see such just desserts in this lifetime, oftentimes not… but what contributes to the kind of joy that Christmas promises? Jesus taught his disciples that it rested in ‘asking’ prayer.
There are so many levels to that that I am at a loss to really go into all the thoughts it brings to mind. But here are my best attempts:
- Asking God for our petitions relieves us of the burden of trying to make things work, of the helpless feeling we have when facing the many problems around us, and that relief gives way to joy as we realize that God cares for us, and for those we are praying for.
- Our brains are wired for these feelings of joy as we connect with a higher power; and for those of us who know Jesus and have assurance of God’s answers on the basis of His Name have an experience of joy.
- It is a rush of joy to see answered prayer- to see things greater than we had imagined.
- The side effect of the peace that comes from taking our needs to God in prayer is gladness and joy. Persistant and sounding deeply within the soul
Such joy is not cheap thrills or lightly won, one only needs to look at the cross of Christ to perceive this. But the joy set before us, as it was set before Him… the joy of an everlasting kind, and impacting more than our own singular lives… is a joy that triumphs over temporary sufferings and pain.
That is a rich, rich joy.
And perhaps, also, it is no little thing to be noticed by The King, to have Him extend His scepter- the symbol of authority and power- to us, and to be invited to ask what we desire of Him.
There is joy within such an honor.