“Sing out of the joy of their hearts.” Isaiah 65:14
It was one of those days that we all have from time to time. I was way behind on my work, yet I was standing around waiting for some people who were late for a meeting. I decided to step out the back door for some fresh air, but to my dismay a cold, steady rain was falling. I stood outside under the building overhang for a few minutes, listening to the rain and taking in the earthy smells typical of a damp spring day. Gradually I became aware of a bird singing somewhere in the trees behind the building. The song was a beautiful, rolling whistle that seemed to be the melody to the rain’s staccato accompaniment. Finally I saw the bird. A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was perched in the highest branch of the tallest tree. It reminded me of Gene Kelley in the musical, Singing in the Rain. In spite of the falling rain, the bird was singing for joy.
True joy comes from within. It is not something that is dependent upon circumstances. Today’s Bible verse tells us that God’s servants will, “sing out of the joy of their hearts.” But how does that joy get into our hearts in the first place? Paul wrote a letter to remind the church at Thessalonica that they, “welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). So joy is a gift given by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s joy allows us to welcome the message that is contained in God’s Word. A very important part of that message is, “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Jesus explained that He gave us the command to love each other, “so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). Receive the joy that the Holy Spirit gives, and even when the rains of life come down, you will be able to “sing out of the joy of your heart.”
Lord, I ask you to give me the true joy that the Holy Spirit brings. Fill me with that joy so that even in the stormy times I will be able to sing out of the joy of my heart. Amen.