The Joy-Worship Connection
a guest post by Jennifer King
As Christians, we can find joy in worship, which is a big part of our faith. I dare say, it’s one of the most important things we do! Worship is knit into the very fiber of who we are as new creations in Christ.
Before we came to know Him, we didn’t worship Him, and we didn’t have true joy in our lives. Further, since we didn’t have the joy of the Lord, we were unable to worship Him! Now that we know God, glorifying Him brings us joy, and that joy bursts out of us in the form of worship! I call this cycle the Joy-Worship Connection.
Find Joy in Worship Through Giving
There are many different ways to worship God. Giving is one example. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, (2 Corinthians 9:7), and one who gives from a heart of trust and love, like the widow in Mark 12:41-44.
In Luke 7:36-38 the Bible recounts another act of worship, where a woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and poured expensive oils on them. This act was one of love, repentance, and glorifying our Savior. All that we do can be done as worship if our hearts and minds are focused on God.
Find Joy in Worship Through Serving
We can also worship God by serving Him. When we serve Him, and ultimately serve the people He loves (Mark 25:37-40), with the focus on bringing Him glory, it’s worship. The serving comes easily to us when we are overflowing with joy. Our new nature as followers of Christ automatically wants to share our joy with others! We want to tell people about God’s goodness, meet their needs, and help them in any way we can.
However, there are times when we may have trouble hanging on to our joy. We may be struggling in our personal lives or in a dry place in our walk with the Lord. In those times is where we especially need the Joy-Worship Connection. I believe that as we push forward to glorify God by serving others, our joy will be restored and our hearts strengthened through whatever we’re facing.
Find Joy in Worship Through Prayer
Prayer can be another form of worshiping the Lord. When we pray like Jesus in the example He gave us in Matthew 6:9-13, we will be praising and thanking God. That’s worship! When we find that our joy is overwhelmed by the difficult things in life, and we need to worship in prayer. Then, according to the Joy-Worship connection, the joy of the Lord in us will grow and give us strength. When we then find ourselves basking in that joy, we will naturally pray with praise and thankfulness!
Find Joy in Worship Through Song
The most common ways to worship and glorify God is with music. If we look at the book of Psalms we have a prime example. Several of the Psalms were written as songs of joy that praise God for all He’s done. For example, Psalm 95: 1-5 says
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.
I can just imagine David being so full of the joy of the Lord that he couldn’t help but sing this to Him and worship!
When the Psalmists Felt Sorrow
The Bible also includes some Psalms that were written from a place of sorrow or anger or fear. In Psalm 42 the author says “My tears have been my food day and night” (verse 3). However, as they worship God and remember God’s kindness, joy and strength rise up in them. The same thing happens in us. When we worship and glorify God with songs, we remember who He is and what He’s done. Then, that same joy and strength rise up inside of us.
For me, worship in the form of music is the surest way to connect with God and feel His presence. I find that it’s the most natural way for me to pour my heart out to my Creator. I’m sure many of you reading this are the same way! When we are happy and joyful we easily break out into songs of praise. On the other hand, we can make music to the Lord and use this Joy-Worship Connection to find the strength and joy of the Lord during hard times.
Enjoy these Playlists
I have created a couple of playlists on YouTube to foster the Joy-Worship Connection in our every-day lives. I’ve included them at the bottom of this post. One, the “Joy Playlist” is full of songs that make you want to dance! They are upbeat, faith-filled songs for when you are bursting at the seams with joy in the Lord. The other playlist, called “Strength”, provides help when your heart is hurting want to turn to worship to find the joy and strength to get through. I sincerely hope they bless you and build up your joy in the Lord.
Worship is a sure way to embrace today’s joy. As we give, serve, pray, sing, and even dance, our hearts will turn from the trials and struggles we face to abiding joy with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Next time you’re feeling a bit down and out of touch with the joy you possess as a fruit of the Spirit, step into an act of worship and see how the Lord lifts your countenance and reveals your joy!
My name is Jennifer King, and I am a God fearing wife and mother of 3. I am a reader, a writer, a singer, a baker, and a crafter! I enjoy bike rides with my family, trying new recipes I find on Pinterest, and traveling whenever we can. You can find me online at http://mindingthekings.com, on Twitter @MindingTheKings, and on Facebook at facebook.com/mindingthekings.