I’ve Got The Joy In My Heart
Since April of 1923 millions of children have sang, with gladness, the song “I’ve Got the Joy in my Heart.” Many have sung and celebrated its message throughout the years. It’s a great song to sing to help teach our children, and to remind ourselves, the many reasons for celebration we share through our love for our perfect Lord. Even as children we understood the joy that can come from a relationship with our Heavenly Father. As adults and mature Christians we more fully, though probably not completely, understand and appreciate the joy that we experience as children of God. Peter describes our joy as a joy that is inexpressible. “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:8) Peter had known Jesus personally, he was writing to those who had not seen Jesus in the flesh, yet they loved him even though they had not seen him. Just as Christians today have not seen him, but through His word, we are able to know Him, believe in Him and love Him, and experience that inexpressible joy that Peter refers to. With the practice of regular Bible study we can have that joy deep down in our hearts to stay.
The song has a variety of verses which deals with blessings that we receive from God where we can celebrate His spiritual gifts. In one verse it refers to the faith we have in Jesus. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” (1 John 5:4) Faith is what gives victory to Christians. Many times it looks as if the world and those who commit sin live the best lives, get the most breaks and are the happiest. This is one of Satan’s illusions. Victory and joy do not come from sin. Victory and joy come by living a life of faith in Jesus Christ. That, my friend, gives us reason to celebrate!
As faithful Christians we have the “glorious hope of our blessed redeemer way down in the depths of our heart.” Paul writes: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1Cor 15:19) If the only hope Christians have is in this life, then we have no real hope. If there was no resurrection then we are to be pitied because if Christ was not resurrected from the dead then what we believe is all a lie and we have nothing. But, because Christ was resurrected from death we can be baptized into his death and raised to walk in newness of life. “…born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3). We joyfully celebrate because we will have an eternal life in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. Think just a moment about the most fantastic place you’ve ever been, or the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, or the best time you’ve ever had, or the most exhilarating mood you’ve ever been in, or the deepest love you’ve ever felt, or the most scrumptious flavor you’ve ever tasted. All those things are blessings from God. Now just think a moment longer, all those wonderful things that are from God, He has said that he is preparing for us a place that’s even better than we can even imagine. “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1Cor. 2:9) — I get excited thinking about it!
Losing my father to cancer this past year has been a difficult challenge. It was extremely hard watching him suffer for many years as he fought with the illnesses that eventually took his life. Many have offered their condolences, and have wished us well, and have offered help in any way that they can, and we are very appreciative for all of them. But I can’t describe to you the peace that comes over me when I think of my earthly father nearing that home my heavenly Father is preparing for him. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27) My father is no longer in pain. He is resting peacefully in Paradise awaiting the home he has longed for. I miss him terribly but my heavenly Father thought so much of me that He left me with the spiritual gift of comfort. Because of that gift I have a peace of mind which comes from having a relationship with God and I am able to rest assured all is well and one day we will be able to celebrate our eternity together in our Heavenly home.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. (James 5:13) I did a study on the effects of singing and I read where all types of singing have positive psychological effects. The act of singing releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel good” chemicals. When we sing while praising our Lord it can put us in a celebratory state. The next time we sing the song “I’ve Got the Joy in my Heart” let’s listen to the words we are singing and celebrate the wonderful love we have for our Lord, Jesus Christ.
by Karen Bookout
Printed in the Summer 2012 issue N5V3