“My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have rescued.”
~Psalm 71:23 (NRSV).
There are thousands of sprinkling joys in life and there are hundreds in the Bible. It’s hoped that the abovementioned joy speaks of an experience familiar to us, but we don’t assume. We’ve all had times when we’ve experienced joy, but perhaps we may not have felt the above sense of unspeakable joy.
Or perhaps we’ve not experienced that sort of deep emotion for some time.
Spiritual Amnesia and Envy
We’re all apt to forget the tremendous power with which the Lord rushed in, through our lives—to deliver us. It’s natural, particularly as we consider that once life ‘settles down’ our focus shifts to other things; areas of concern more appropriate to the seasons we’ve entered or have since endured.
We’re forgiven for that. Then just every now and again we sense that we’re missing something. This is especially our context when we see that impassioned ‘baby believer,’ and as they strut their stuff we can inwardly deride them.
At the core of things we’re envious. We don’t wish to go back to their stage, but equally we want a slice of their joy. But joy’s not just an outwardly felt thing.
Experiencing this Joy Anew
When staleness has be-struck us, and it’s been like that for months or years, but it’s only now becoming an issue of frustration, we can thank God for the majesty of discipleship. The Spirit is stirred within. For every growing pain there is a segment of inner joy to be redeemed, commensurate to our obedience to enter in from comfort to discomfort.
We’re choosing or acceding to grow.
It is an unspeakable or inexplicable joy that is coming to us via the faith to step out into the invisible constructs of perceived spiritual nothingness.
It is God’s nature to bless such faith, provided we’re really hearing from God in the first place.
Joy is hence the by-product of the faith to go through with those things that God’s pressing into our hearts.
The very best sense of joy is unspeakable. Like anything that’s genuinely related to God we find it difficult to explain. And if it can’t be explained to the world and it’s inherently a good thing it’s probably from God. Joy is like this. We have it, yet how it arrived we do not know.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: to Chris Tomlin’s, Joy to The World (Unspeakable Joy).