New Joy!

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). September has the feel of a “new year”—not just a new month. As the summer days fade, a new season of refreshing takes its place. I think it’s fitting for us to reflect on Labor Day as the official beginning of this new time and to consider the role of work in our lives. People I talk to often express extreme views about their work. They usually tell me they really like their work or…they hate it and can’t wait to leave. Have you noticed that, if you don’t like something, it’s hard to hide your feelings day by day? Those who work with a negative attitude influence others. What’s in the heart eventually comes out. Before you know it, a “toxic” work environment grows and stifles creativity and productivity. Now, let’s think about this in relation to serving the Lord. Are there times when serving the Lord sputters into mere “robotic activity.” We know the drill…just do enough to get by in our relationship with God. Sometimes our attitude sinks into I don’t like this, but I’m still on the job. Through my studies and preaching on “Summer Psalms,” my attitude has been challenged by David’s attitude toward serving the Lord. Over and over, he speaks about the joy of living in the presence of God. He rejoices in the great blessings and benefits of sins forgiven and a clear conscience. For David, following the Lord was not a “obligation grudgingly performed” but a delight to his soul. If your relationship with the Lord has slipped into more of a duty than delight, I encourage you to follow the footsteps of David. He focused on the Lord himself and worshiped in His presence. David took time to wait on the Lord, allowing Him to stir the embers of his heart until the flames grew hot. Let’s remember that living for Jesus is not a difficulty to endure but, rather, the greatest delight we can ever know! Allow the Lord to renew your joy in Him! David declared, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Enjoy the Lord!

Pastor Mark Boucher