SCRIPTURE: Psalm 92:4 (TM)
You made me so happy, God. I saw your work and I shouted for joy.
Bruce Larson tells this story: A conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren't free to say, "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord." All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased. Let your balloon go.
What keeps us from expressing our joy? Are we fearful of what other people might think? Or, do we fail to see anything to be joyful over?
There are people, you know them as well as I, that are more comfortable being unhappy then they are being happy. Happiness seems to evade them or so they think. These individuals are super critical about everything. Normally they are stubborn and quick to blame their unhappiness on others. You’ve heard them rehearse their aches and pains. It is like they are living in a never-ending nightmare.
We have a choice each morning. We can embrace the joy that surrounds us or the zero on what is wrong. God desires happiness for each and everyone of us. God has created the possibility of a joy-filled life. The choice is ours.
There was an old preacher in Florida who would, at various times, let loose with a “Glory!” or a “Hallelujah!” or a “Praise the Lord!” It didn’t bother him at all where he was or who was around him. Rusty just let loose with a loud shout of praise. When he was asked why he would respond, “Why bottle it? I just release it so God can give me more!” Amen, Rusty, amen!
Let loose the joy that is in us with a Glory or Hallelujah. It will make us happy… and just possibly positively affect those around us and our situation.
Remember Nehemiah 8:10 (TM) - "Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don't have anything: This day is holy to God. Don't feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!" And be thankful!
PRAYER from A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People:
Help me, my God, to manage the affairs of my life this day as though it were my last. Hold constantly before me the brevity of my fleeting days and the joy of hearing your “well done… enter into the joy of your Lord.” I pray to be worthy of these words, today and always. Amen