So yesterday was a reasonably bad day for me.  I mean I wasn’t horribly depressed or anything, it was just that I started the day with a heavy heart and wasn’t able to get into the greatness and goodness of our Lord to turn myself around.  Then there were just a whole lot of little things that just piled one on top of another and I was ready to just tear my clothes and throw ashes on my head while I sat on the ruins.

But there wasn’t any real ruin.  It was an exaggeration of my circumstances brought about by choosing an attitude of weariness and despair over an attitude of Joy and Hope.

What turned me around?

“Do not grieve, the Joy of the LORD is your strength!” (Neh 8:10)

I know it’s kind of trite and one of those well worn passages that Christians throw around, but I’m convinced that most of us have forgotten what it means to be truly joyful.  I can say this because yesterday when I was feeling down, I made a deliberate choice to jump up and down and sing the praises of our God for no other reason than to praise Him.  I sang songs like “Take Me In,” (the Kutlass version) “Give you Glory” by Jeremy Camp” and “Angus Dei” (Third Day version).  I jumped up and down while I had my mp3 player blasting in my little earbuds and my day turned around.  I was able to go to my Wednesday small group and lead a worship and prayer service with a bunch teens and (although they may not have noticed) GOD SHOWED UP!

Now I’m not saying that my actions brought about the presence of the LORD, what I’m saying is that the music and my outward devotions were able to make space for God to calm my inward storms.  What really ticks me off though is that according to some and others, that was not the LORD’s doing but my own emotional response.  Why?  Because the music was not “of God.”

But here’s my argument in return (aside from the pathetic bantering of biblical context and interpretation and the ridiculous inability of my detractors to reconcile the Old and New Covenants)

“Rejoice in the LORD always!  I say it again, Rejoice!”  Come on friends, let’s not argue about the pedantic minutia of how we worship, but let us simply “worship in spirit and in truth.”

So let’s worship and be joyful!  Let’s laugh and be happy!  What manner of Father would create us to worship Him out of our misery?  What manner of Love is that?  Let us rather choose to be joyful and to worship from that place.  If anyone is really interested I’m sure I’ll end up posting specific counter arguments to some of my detractors later, but that will be really heavy stuff.  Let’s just rejoice what do you say?

Separately I would like to point anyone who has felt or currently feels like I did yesterday to the following resources.

If you have or know of other links to share, feel free to post them in the comments.