Is your heart rejoicing?

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart (rejoicing the heart ESV)

Psalm 19.8a

What is it that rejoices your heart this morning? I guess that is one of those questions which might well take a bit of time to answer for there is sadly so much in our lives and in the world that causes sadness and sorrow, rather than rejoicing.

There are many other questions like that which cause us to hesitate, when, because of who we are as God’s people ,we really ought to be immediately ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. 1 Peter 3.15. Questions like ‘How is your walk with the Lord today?’ ‘What blessings have you received from the Lord this week? What have you learnt from your Bible reading this morning?

They are questions that we may hesitate to ask for fear of embarrassing the one we ask but they are questions we should not be hesitant in answering unless we have lost or are losing our close relationship with the Lord.

If you feel like that,  then this series of verses from Psalm 19 give us the remedy which is to soak ourselves in God’s Word and the part verse before us this morning should encourage us in this key exercise.

We wake today, and it seems on most mornings, to a barrage of media information which gives no joy as we are reminded that our world is so terribly broken, with Afghanistan currently right at the forefront with  the terror and chaos which many are facing in that tragic country.

There is actually very little we can do in such a situation but turn to God and in turning to him and his word, sadness will be turned to joy as we discover afresh that ‘he is working his purposes out as year succeeds to year.’ That will not, and indeed must not, cause us to be insensitive and remote from our fellow men and women who like us are made in God’s image and whom he longs should acknowledge him and come to repentance. But turning to God’s precepts should quieten our troubled hearts and bring an inward peace and joy while we wrestle with him in prayer for our world and our own situations.

Paul writing to the Galatian church reminds us that ‘joy’ is one of the fruits of the Spirit and today’s verse highlights just this one but as we immerse ourselves in his word we shall find the strength to embrace and practice all nine.

That should cause us to rejoice this morning and at the same time cast all our burdens on the Lord as he graciously invites us to do. And as we do we shall experience the truth of

Nehemiah 8.10

 The joy of the LORD is your strength.

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