I Gotta Have My Joy

I don't know how you navigate life from day to day but one thing I have discovered in 2011 is that I simply cannot operate without a deep measure of joy in the living God.

If you grew up in a church using the Pentecostal Praises hymnal then you probably know what page 202A was: "Joy Unspeakable." We wore that song out, but we loved it, and I loved it. I always was happy when the song leader turned to the organ player and said, "202A!"

But my favorite hymn on joy is this classic song, "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee." The melody was taken from the Ode to Joy, the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, one of the beautiful pieces of music ever written, and the words are from a poem written in 1907 by Henry Van Dyke. The melody and the words were published together for the first time in The Presbyterian Hymnal of 1911.

No other song captures for me the truth that God alone is the source of abiding and lasting joy. And I particularly enjoy this contemporary rendition of it with several new refrains added. It is the most played song on my iPod in 2011.

There are many things I can go without, but I tend towards despondency and the one thing I must have is joy in the Lord because joy and hope are two sides of the same coin.

Psalm 43:3-5 [ESV] 3 Send our your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 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. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

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