Joy without the happy clappy

Habakkuk 3:18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

happyclappyThis verse reminds me of a song we sang in church growing up.  It went something like: “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.  Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say rejoice….”  And so on.  It was a happy clappy with simple lyrics.  People would yell back the echo of rejoice or start dancing to prove that they really were rejoicing.  If you were really into it you would clap on the offbeats.  Is that what it means to rejoice in the Lord and to take joy in Him?  Do you have to sing a cheesy song with almost no lyrics while clapping, shouting, and dancing? Let’s hope not.

So what does taking joy in the Lord look like?  Well, it can look like a lot of things.  It can look like dancing or  happy clapping.  It can look like singing from the top of your lungs.  But it can also look like standing still or kneeling.  It can look like silence and tranquility.  It can feel like you just won the lottery but it can also feel like peace in the midst of a storm.  When we think of joy, we think of happiness.  We think it is a feeling to be felt or an expression made on our faces.  However, joy from the Lord permeates emotion, will, mind, body, and spirit.

The joy that comes from the God of my salvation begins when I recognize Him as Savior.  It comes when I make a decision to put my trust in Him.  He breathes joy into my life as I take hold of Him.  It doesn’t matter whether I am laying on the beaches of Maui or deep in the trenches of battle.  It doesn’t matter if everyone likes me or I’ve just made 10 new enemies.  His joy doesn’t rely on my feeling of happiness, but rather on His absoluteness.  He is absolutely joy and peace and love.  And when I choose to “take joy” in Him, I get it.

So I choose to rejoice today.  I’m a little too tired to jump up and clap or shout hallelujah.  Life’s not easy enough to feel like I am on top of the world.  I don’t feel perfect or holy.  The sun’s not shining and I’m a bit low on vitamin D.  But I will rejoice.  Yes, today I will take joy in the God of my salvation!

One thought on “Joy without the happy clappy

  1. I remember that song! I also remember you couldn’t be sad or grumpy when you sang it. And you couldn’t help but smile either. To me joy is something my spirit embraces and rejoicing is an expression of that joy….. 🙂

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