Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shout and Sing for Joy by Rev. Lonnie C. Crowe

Psalm 63:3-7 (NKJV): ”Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.”

Joy is not an emotion based on circumstance or situation.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells me.  Therefore, joy indwells me.  When I meditate on the Lord rather than on my circumstances, joy rises up from within my spirit, transcends the varieties of my life and lifts me beyond myself and into the spiritual realm where joy lives eternally.

The Lord taught me many years ago to overcome the spirit of depression with thanksgiving. If I felt discouraged, I determined to name ten specific things in my life for which I was thankful.  Whenever I reached 7 or 8 on my list, my spirit soared, praise dispelled discouragement, peace drove out anxiety, and hope sprang forth.

Marrow and fatness describe the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The anointing is the power of the Lord working in and through His people.  It is the anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage (Isaiah 10:27) and sets us free to worship and rejoice in the plan of God for our lives, a plan to give each of us a future and a hope.

On those nights when sleep seems to elude us, the psalmist encourages us to meditate on our Redeemer rather than on the anxieties and frustrations that often beset us. God has been our help, is our help and will always be our help.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
The Lord has not promised that we will go through life without trial and tribulation.  He has promised, however, to walk by our side as we navigate those seas of distress and suffering.  Isaiah 43:1-2 (NKJV) “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” 

The rivers and the fire are those situations that try our faith and may even cause us to question our God.  Remember, nothing is too difficult for Him to bring us through.
Paul was in prison when he wrote to the Philippians exhorting them to Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

Our God is greater than our pain and our anguish.

Isaiah 12:6 “… Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

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