Sometimes as a Christian there are amazing and wonderful spiritual truths that lose their power because I become desensitized to them – I hear them so much I forget what they mean or play it off in my mind or deflect them with an eye roll and they don’t make it into my heart.
This weekend I went to a youth ministry conference with Matt, heard some great speakers and enjoyed a lot of good sessions on several topics BUT the theme that God kept bopping me on the head was – and this is cool to me because it wasn’t the topic of any session or learning lab, it was just a phrase that someone tossed out in passing that absolutely lodged in my heart - “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” It’s weird because when I think back on it, I don’t know if I have really been joyful in serving God for… months? Years, probably. I mean, I’ve been happy to do things, and I’ve had moments of joy and fulfillment, but I’ve also been driven by a lot of willpower and sense of obligation or loyalty or… something. But I haven’t been fueled by joy.And when things are tough (as they have been), the thing I pray for (if I pray) is strength and help from God.
So this weekend God asked me, “What if you prayed for joy instead?”
And my answer is, I think that might change everything.