Psa. 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Ministry can be brutal. I know this from experience, pastoring had stolen all of my joy. What was the source of the strife? Everything from unfulfilled dreams, rebellious children, disloyal staff members, disgruntled church folk, and so on and so on. Church work is tough. After my first sixteen years of this I was shell shocked, no mas, I wanted to do anything but ministry. In the knick of time the Lord restored my joy. It was the strangest thing, up until then it was success in ministry that brought happiness.This new joy wasn’t that. I was struck by the exuberant, unexpected, sheer pleasure that exists only in one place, that place is the tangible presence of the Lord. As David said, “In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand are pleasures evermore”. Check out Spurgeon’s thoughts on the joy of the Lord.
“Be glad of heart, O believer, but take care that thy gladness has its spring in the Lord. Thou hast much cause for gladness in thy God, for thou canst sing with David, God, my exceeding joy. Be glad that the Lord reigneth, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that he sits upon the throne, and ruleth all things! Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That he is wise should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That he is mighty, should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness. That he is everlasting, should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That he is unchanging, should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. That he is full of grace, that he is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant he has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory-all this should tend to make us glad in him.”
Experiencing the presence of God was a game changer for me. Not only was the dismal funk gone, I had a new passion for church and church work. You see it was in those services that His incredible presence would come in the strongest ways. I live for those visitations. So maybe you have lost your joy, if so, it’s time to go to church. Not just any church, find one that loves to bask in His presence. Soon you will again experience His over flowing joy.