Friday, August 28, 2015

He Shall Strengthen My Heart

I sat there with a despondent heart.  I had no reason to be melancholy, but it was as if all the joy had been stolen from my soul.

It was one of those "blah" days.

But on the agenda that afternoon was studying a portion of Scripture in John chapter 5.  I reached for my notebook, a pen, and of course, my precious Bible.  As I began to study the passage, I found my spirits mysteriously lifting.  I focused, not on the things going on around me, but the character of Jesus.  Who He was and what He had done for us.

And I experienced something beautiful.  

The Lord placed a smile on my face; a song of joy in my heart.  I had not approached my time with Him seeking joy, but I had found at His feet the very thing I needed.


A week later, I found myself once again lacking cheerfulness.  I felt far away from my Lord, almost.  I knew this wasn't how I should feel, but nevertheless I did.  I cried out to the Lord to place a supernatural joy and peace within me.  Nothing "immediate" happened, but I went about my business trusting that the Lord would work in His own way and timing.

I approached my daily time of memorizing with the ever-needed prayer of the Spirit's presence and guidance. Then I began to memorize Psalm 19.  I found it impossible to recite the opening verses of the passage without at least a little emphasis and jubilation.  My arms waved over my head as I cried, "The heaven's declare the glory of God; and the firmaments show His handiwork." 

I couldn't help but smile. 

As I began to repeat the other phrases as well, my countenance lifted.  My thoughts wandered to the grandeur and splendor all around me that pointed to our marvelous Creator.  I thought about the beauty and character of the sun as I memorized Psalm 19:4-6.  How absolutely amazing!  My heart leapt for joy just thinking about it.  Even now, as I write this, a smile creeps over my face.


Then, early this morning, I approached the throne of grace in prayer, ready and expecting the Lord to grant me His joy.  I cried out to Him to rebuke the spirit of despondency that had crept into my heart.  I begged Him to fill me with His Spirit and His life.

He brought to my mind a verse I had memorized yesterday: "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).  I clung to the promise that He would strengthen my heart and watched slowly, as He did.

He transformed my heart, replacing the indifference with joy.


In each of these times, when my heart was weary, I turned to the Lord.  Firstly, I looked to Him in Bible reading.  Second, I considered Him through memorization.  Next, I reached to Him in prayer.  And finally, I clung to Him in meditation.

And in each of these ways, the Lord granted me a joy beyond my greatest imaginings.  Sometimes I came to Him trusting Him to do great things, but other times I simply approached Him out of a sense of duty (which I should not have done).  But whether my motives were pure or not, the Lord always answered me.

He gave me a joy inexpressible and full of glory.  He put a smile on my face.

I have learned an important lesson in these past two weeks.  It is best summed up with these two verses:

"The status of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart..." ~Psalms 19:8 (emphasis mine)

"Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." ~Hebrews 12:3 (emphasis mine)

Now, as I continue on my spiritual journey, I will take these truths to heart.  Whenever my life is devoid of joy, I will turn to Him.  I will seek His face, whether that be through the Scriptures, or through prayer.  I will remind myself of Who He is and what He has done for me.  I will stand on the promise that He will strengthen my heart.

I will cling to Him, and He will give me joy.

My Lord is ever faithful.  It is I who walk away from the joy found in His presence and He who quietly woes me back.  It is He who delights in placing His joy within me.

Remember the promise of God:

"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
~Psalm 16:11

And I invite you to approach His presence with me.  Let us not settle for mediocrity, but let us allow our gracious Lord to fill us with His joy.

1 comment :

  1. Good for you, seeking the Lord and not people. He can and will sustain us every time! Lovely post.