A merry heart doeth good like a medicine—Proverbs 17:22
I’ll never forget being surprised by joy in Rockwall, Texas in August of 1994. I had always associated joy with our human response to God’s gifts and blessings. Someone gets saved and joy is our response. Maybe an answered prayer would produce joy. It could even be the success of the church or just the blessings of God on our family or finances. Of course all of those things produce some kind of joy as we see God glorified and His kingdom go forward, but that’s not the kind of joy that surprised me that day. This was something totally different. This had a different characteristic or feel about it. This had nothing to do with answered prayers, breakthroughs, or blessings. This joy was supernatural in nature and was actually the very atmosphere of this Holy Being. It was His joy, the joy that Jesus enjoys in the presence of His Father. This Joy of The Lord had invaded my life and caught me by surprise. I was surprised by how real it was, how strong it was; but most of all I was surprised by some Christians response to it. Some wanted nothing to do with this kind of joy. Supernatural anything makes the natural man uncomfortable. Here is something A . B. Simpson said about the joy of The Lord.
“King Solomon left among his wise sayings a prescription for sick and sad hearts, and it is one that we can safely take. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Joy is the great restorer and healer. Gladness of spirit will bring health to the bones and vitality to the nerves when all other tonics fail and all other sedatives cease to quiet. Are you ill? Begin to rejoice in the Lord, and your bones will flourish like an herb, and your cheeks will glow with the bloom of health and freshness. Worry, fear, distrust, care-all are poisonous! joy is balm and healing, and if you will but rejoice, God will give power. He has commanded you to be glad and rejoice, and He never fails to sustain His children in keeping His commandments. Rejoice in the Lord always, He says. This means no matter how sad, how tempted, how sick, how suffering you are, rejoice in the Lord just where you are-and begin this moment.
The joy of the Lord is the strength of our body,
The gladness of Jesus, the balm for our pain,
His life and His fullness, our fountain of healing,
His joy, our elixir for body and brain.”
How can I rejoice when I am sad? Try it, you will be surprised at how a sacrifice of praise can turn suddenly into floods of joy. Just start singing, if you are really desperate just start dancing before The Lord. You might feel awkward or a little hypocritical at first, but when He rushes is in, suddenly all things are made new. Today is the day to start. Rejoice in The Lord always and again I say rejoice.