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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox


When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. ~ Psalm 126

What springs joy out of you?

Not happiness. Joy. Happiness tends to be something that happens to us externally: we get to go to see our favorite band in concert, or we are going on vacation or have received a great gift. It is fleeing. It can - and often is - wiped out in an instant.

Joy bubbles up internally. It comes from within and is something built to last. It is more a state of being and can exist even when life isn't going so great.

It usually has to be chosen.

Like choosing to shout with tongues of joy.

Of course, both happiness and joy can and often do exist together. Here it is certainly something external that has paved the way for joy for the Psalmist and his people. Fortunes were restored.

Along the way there had been suffering and weeping.

So what springs joy out of you? When did joy take hold of you and not let you go? When was a time that even when things weren't great, peace and joy had you completely?

Help me to choose joy, O Lord...especially when sorrow seems easier. Amen

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