As children of God, the joy that we always have through the Holy Spirit can be stifled. We can let our own problems, perhaps magnified or intensified at this time of the pandemic, take us over. We can forget that in Jesus Christ we can overcome. We can forget that joy helps us overcome.
In this time (that will pass) of COVID-19, if we’re not careful, joy is supplanted by sorrow, fear, and worry. I don’t know about you, but I find that it has been too easy to succumb to the things that can bury my joy. Whether it’s tuning in too much to the news of the progress and devastation of the virus…or it’s seeing loved ones (via FaceTime) suffer even more with the added stress and worsening of their illnesses…or it’s being socially isolated, not able to be with others, including at church…
What are we to do? How are we to handle all this?
Abide in the Word. Pray. Worship. And trust God with it all.
It’s one thing to stay in the Word. Many of us do that. Prayer, like breathing, comes easily. But worship? Worship at home when we don’t feel like it? How important is that anyway?
When I discovered last week that I had cut back on worship time, I realized how important worship is. (It seems that I’ve had to learn this lesson more than once!) In the worship, my focus is on God and there is joy! As I behold the beauty of the Lord, as I recognize His sovereignty and faithfulness, as I delight in His presence, joy rises up within me. It was never really gone, of course, but it had become somewhat hidden.
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:1-3 NKJV
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NKJV
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV
In order to be strong in this season and experience the fullness of His grace, let us rejoice! Let us worship! Let us glorify our King!
1 George William Cooke. In Barry Bobb’s All God’s People Sing, Concordia Publishing House, 1992.